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Steve Smith: Mark Sanchez sucks

Mark-Sanchez-Tim-Tebow-backupSteve Smith remains as honest and outspoken as ever.

The longtime Carolina Panthers wide receiver was co-hosting The Drive on WFNZ 610-AM in Charlotte on Thursday when he bashed Mark Sanchez.

“He sucks,” Smith said simply.

“I wouldn’t let Mark Sanchez throw me a paper bag sandwich,” he joked. (audio here)

When asked about Smith’s remarks, Sanchez said, “I wish him and his team a healthy, successful season.”

Smith’s comments came up in the context of a debate about NFL quarterback rankings. CBS Sports’ Will Brinson listed the Jets quarterbacks (Sanchez and Geno Smith) 30th out of 32 in his rankings, below even Blaine Gabbert (something I would dispute). Smith must have agreed in some shape, because he doesn’t think very much of Sanchez.

We’ve long been down on Sanchez as a quarterback. I give credit to Sanchez for playing well in the playoffs his first two seasons which helped his team reach the AFC Championship Game twice, but the reality is the Jets made the postseason because they had a stellar defense, excellent offensive line, and great running game. When the line and running game weakened and they tried going to a pass-heavy attack the past few years, the results were poor.

Sanchez will be lucky to start another 16 games combined during the rest of his career.

Helmet smack to Pro Football Talk

Jeff Garcia: Tim Tebow is not going to compete for Jets quarterback job

tim-tebow-jetsWhat are the New York Jets waiting for? That’s what former NFL quarterback Jeff Garcia and countless others are wondering regarding Tim Tebow. Garcia, who has become a personal mentor for Mark Sanchez, feels that the team is simply distracting Sanchez from reaching his potential by keeping Tebow around.

“If there’s going to be competition at the position, it’s not going to come from Tim Tebow,” Garcia told USA TODAY Sports on Thursday. “Having Tebow there (last season) just became more of a distraction, more of a circus show. Obviously, it’s their decision. But from an outsider looking in, having Tebow there doesn’t bring anything positive. It just brings distraction.

“For Mark, the main competition is going to be with David Garrard and Greg McElroy.”

Last month, Jets GM John Idzik the Jets are keeping Tebow to increase quarterback competition across the board. After what happened last year, we all know Tebow has no shot of earning the Jets starting quarterback job during the offseason. So is he really helping to increase competition?

“When you’re a quarterback, you don’t need artificial competition,” Garcia said. “And it’s not fair to Tim to put him through all that. If there’s a place for Tim that gives him a chance to be a contributor in an offense with another team, let him go be that guy.”

Garcia played under new Jets offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg with the Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers. He has been working with Sanchez to teach him how to handle the West Coast offense and says Sanchez has done a “great job” so far. Clearly, Garcia has no reason to believe Tebow is pushing Sanchez to become a better player.

In reality, the Jets are probably holding out to see if they can get some sort of late-round draft pick compensation for Tebow on or around draft day. If that doesn’t happen, they would be stupid to keep him around.

Lennay Kekua reportedly claimed she was dating Mark Sanchez

Ronaiah TuiasosopoThe more we learn about the Manti Te’o hoax, the more we come to realize that the Notre Dame linebacker was not the first person that became a pawn in the games Ronaiah Tuiasosopo has allegedly strung together. Tessi Tolutau, a Hawaiian beauty queen who was crowned Miss South Pacific in 2007, said she was also contacted by a girl named Lennay Kekua several years ago.

Tolutau told the NY Post that Kekua messaged her on Facebook seeking advice on competing in a beauty pageant. She also reportedly told Tolutau that she had an impressive track record, including once dating Mark Sanchez.

“We would chat back and forth,” Tolutau said. “She explained to me that she played basketball at Stanford, that she was a Victoria’s Secret model, that she was dating somebody from Stanford. She even said she was dating [Jets quarterback] Mark Sanchez.”

Tolutau said she was shocked last week when news surfaced that Te’o’s girlfriend never actually existed.

“I didn’t even know that Manti’s dead girlfriend was Lennay Kekua until I saw the news this week,” she said.

In this case, Ronaiah may have posed as Kekua to give himself an opportunity to meet Tolutau, who explained that Kekua convinced her that she should meet Tuiasosopo. However, Tolutau said never considered that Kekua and Tuiasosopo could be one in the same.

“I never thought that before,” she explained. “That never crossed my mind. When Ronaiah’s name came out, I started to put the pieces together.”

With all the lies we have been led to believe that Tuiasosopo has told (like this classic story about NBC’s “The Voice”), it sounds like he is an extremely sick person who is in need of some serious help.

Rex Ryan appears to have a tattoo of his wife wearing a Mark Sanchez jersey

Rex Ryan was recently photographed catching some rays by the pool with his shirt off while vacationing in the Bahamas. I know what you’re thinking, but give the guy a break. He’s lost a ton of weight so he has nothing to be ashamed of — except maybe the tattoo he has on his right arm of what appears to be his wife wearing a Mark Sanchez jersey.

While our initial reaction when we heard the rumor was that this has to be some sort of photoshop job, we’re confident that is not the case since the photo was taken by NY Daily News photographer Andrew Theodorakis. Also, I don’t think there’s anyone in the world clever enough to make something like that up. And to top it all off, we already know Rex has one ridiculous tattoo.

ESPN’s Rachel Nichols shared the photo on Twitter:

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Rex Ryan: You’re not going to believe this, but Mark Sanchez is starting against Bills

What better way for the New York Jets to end their season than to start the quarterback who was once the starter, then got benched, then started again, then got benched again and is now preparing to be under center to close out the year. Greg McElroy is still suffering from concussion-like symptoms, which means Mark Sanchez is starting against the Buffalo Bills this weekend.

You didn’t think Tim Tebow would actually get an opportunity, did you?

“You’re not going to believe this one,” Ryan told reporters Thursday morning, via Manish Mehta of the NY Daily News. “I was stunned by it. Mark has had success earlier in the season against Buffalo. He’s very familiar with them. That’s the reason I’m going with Mark. I had the conversation with both Mark and Tim…. about what I was going to do. Obviously, Tim’s not happy with that. That’s what you expect.”

The announcement is the perfect ending to arguably the most hectic season in Jets history. In the offseason, most experts predicted Tebow would earn the starting job at some point during the season when Sanchez inevitably struggled. Sanchez certainly struggled, but Tebow was never given a chance. In fact, there were even reports that he asked to be removed from situational duty if he wasn’t going to be given an opportunity to start.

“Obviously, (Tebow would) like a shot at it,” Ryan explained. ”When you look at it with the situation the way it is, it’s a short window to get the preparation time in. I just think it’s best for a our football team. That doesn’t mean that Tim won’t play in this game, but I’m just more comfortable starting Mark.”

If Tim plays in this game, we’d be surprised. Actually, the Jets could run Fireman Ed out onto the field and it wouldn’t shock us with the way this season has gone.

Photo credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

Mark Sanchez jerseys have apparently hit the clearance rack (Picture) (UPDATED)

Mark-Sanchez-jersey-clearance

Was Sunday the official start of the Greg McElroy era in New York? Chances are the New York Jets will pursue another option at starting quarterback when the offseason begins, which means there is also a good chance Mark Sanchez may have taken his last snap with the team. Otherwise, it would probably cost you more than $10 for his Jets jersey.

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Jets reportedly feared ‘Tebowmania’ would ruin Mark Sanchez’s psyche

When the New York Jets acquired Tim Tebow last offseason, the same question popped into the minds of almost everyone — why? If Rex Ryan and company were so committed to Mark Sanchez after signing him to a hefty extension, why would they bring in a quarterback who is arguably the most popular player in the NFL and just led a team to the playoffs?

One common line of thinking is that the Jets were trying to motivate Sanchez and get him to take his game to the next level in his fourth year as a starter. However, a source reportedly told the NY Post that the Jets were extremely concerned that “Tebowmania” would derail Marky Mark.

There was also the “Tebowmania” factor. One source described the organization as “frozen with fear” that Tebow would actually excel, creating a quarterback controversy that would wreck Sanchez’s psyche. Tebow wound up being more effective as the personal protector on the punt team than as an offensive player.

Instead of motivating Sanchez to elevate his game or having an insurance policy in case Sanchez stumbled, the Jets wound up with the worst possible scenario. The coaching staff clearly lost all confidence in Tebow and it appears he will be released or traded after the season. Sanchez has gotten worse as the season progresses, having thrown seven interceptions in his last three games.

Whether it was Tebowmania that ruined Sanchez or he is simply not a viable NFL starter is irrelevant at this point. The only thing that matters is Greg McElroy is New York’s starting quarterback for Week 16, and that has nothing to do with injuries. Did we see this coming? Not exactly, but that doesn’t mean it’s a shock.

Photo credit: Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE