Drew Bledsoe, discussing Mark Sanchez, likens being Jets QB to being a sacrificial virgin
Mark Sanchez, once the much-maligned starting quarterback for the New York Jets, had a strong showing on Sunday after Nick Foles went down with an injury.
Slated as a backup and a backup only to Foles heading into the season, Sanchez enjoyed the absence of an enormous amount of organizational pressure on his shoulders for the first time in a long time, and it arguably showed in his performance on Sunday.
After Foles went down with a broken collarbone at the end of the first quarter of Sunday’s game against the Houston Texans, Sanchez went out and led the Eagles to a 31-21 road victory.
His numbers were not off-the-charts spectacular (15-22 passing for 202 yards, 2 touchdowns, 2 interceptions), but a win is a win, especially when playing the role of game day hero instead of game day goat was a relatively foreign concept for Sanchez during his tumultuous tenure with the Jets.
Foles is expected to be out for at least a month, if not longer, meaning Sanchez seizes the reins of the Eagles’ offense for the time being.
Former NFL quarterbacking great Drew Bledsoe was asked Monday about Sanchez’s promotion via injury into the starter’s role, and while expressing confidence in the quarterback, he also used the opportunity to take a pretty bizarre potshot at the Jets, likening playing QB for Gang Green to being a virgin offered up for sacrifice.
“Going to play quarterback for the Jets … it’s kind of like, you know when they used to take the pretty young virgin up to the edge of the volcano and then just throw them in?” Bledsoe said during an interview on ESPN Radio (via the New York Daily News). “That’s kind of what it is when you play quarterback for the Jets. It just feels bad.”
Oof. Some pretty colorful imagery, to be sure. And hard to disagree with, either. A reference to the team actually trading for the virginal Tim Tebow fits in nicely with Bledsoe’s comparison as well.
Comparisons to being a sacrificial virgin at the volcanic altar of Jets dysfunction aside, Bledsoe said that Sanchez’s horrible experiences with the Jets makes it all the more refreshing to see him get the chance to flourish with the Eagles.
“Mark had to live with that for a long time,” Bledsoe added. “And people threw him under the bus like he was the whole reason for the demise of the Jets. To see him be able to come on to the field in a good system, with good talent and perform well, I’m just really happy for him.”
What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger, it is often argued, even if it involves a situation so dire that someone can try to compare it to being the victim of a brutal pagan ritual.
Eagles head coach Chip Kelly, meanwhile, opted to leave out the descriptive analogies when discussing the team’s quarterback situation. While saying he feels bad for Foles in light of suffering the injury, he has all the confidence that Sanchez can come in and perform.
Sanchez also appears confident that he can fill in as a suitable replacement for Foles in the interim, saying being the backup up this point in the season will have no bearing on he prepares for Monday’s game against the Carolina Panthers.
“Nothing changes,” Sanchez said on Sunday, per an ESPN.com report. “How do I prepare to play? How do I prepare to watch a game? It’s the same. I might get less reps as a backup, but I am watching the same amount of film. I am doing the same amount of drills. I am taking advantage of my time that I can during the week. I can’t cut corners or I’ll get caught off guard out there. This league will expose you and you’ve got to be ready.”
(image credit: USATSI)