New York Jets Quarterback coach Matt Cavanaugh was interviewed by Manish Mehta over the weekend, and he gave his thoughts on the starter Mark Sanchez.
He admitted that Mark made some “poor decisions” last year, but is optimistic that in his fourth year he can bounce back.
Sanchez and Cavanugh
“There were turnovers that were not his fault that were credited to him,” Cavanaugh told the Daily News in his first public comments since the Jets missed the playoffs at 8-8 last season. “But there were enough that playing that position he needs to cut some of those down. Most of them came from just poor decision-making.
“So I spent a lot of time with him talking about ‘Let’s get focused on managing the game,’” Cavanaugh added. “Taking the big plays when they’re there (and) understanding that… even though it’s drawn up to be a touchdown, not every play has to be a touchdown. Not every play has to be a completion. Sometimes throwing it away is a good thing. Sometimes taking a sack is better than throwing an interception.”
Whenever I talk about Mark Sanchez and the year he had in 2011, there are two types of people in regards to Mark Sanchez. Those that say that he’s not the QB of the Jets because he needs to read defenses better, and those that say he’s our guy and it wasn’t all his fault (ie: the O-line etc).
His QB’s coach, Cavanaugh came out to say it was a little of both. The key for Sanchez this upcoming year will be how he has improved with his decision making. Does Mark have the ability mentally to improve? He has the physical tools, but there were at times, to use an OVERUSED cliche, he looked liked a deer in headlights.
Hey I bet most of us would have that look if we were getting hit that often last year. Yes you can blame the O-line, but I have a feeling that the O-line is going to improve with the addition of Tony Sparano, and with all the new weapons for Sanchez, he’s not going to be able to fall back on the “I need help and protection” excuse.
Making matters more difficult for him, is the Tim Tebow factor, with the most popular player in the NFL and newly added Jet breathing down his back.
Cavanaugh echoed Sanchez’s sentiment that the Jets starter doesn’t need Tim Tebow, or any other quarterback, to push him to become better. Cavanaugh reiterated that Sanchez still has the requisite skill-set to become a champion if he becomes more consistent.
“If you’re going to be a really good quarterback, you’re self-motivated,” Cavanaugh said. “I think he believes that in his heart. He’s as confident as anybody. He’s as confident as I am that he can be really really good in this league, win a lot of games and help us win a Super Bowl if he stays focused, if he sticks to the game plan, if he manages the game at the right time.