Mark Sanchez – Give The Man A Chance

Former Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden hasn’t even been close to making the playoffs, let alone the AFC Championship game in first two seasons as a pro. So I’d appreciate that comparison to stop even before it starts. Sorry to get sassy on ya.

This is an article on why I believe our beloved Cleveland Browns should sign quarterback Mark Sanchez, as he has just been released by the New York Jets this past Friday.

Currently, the Browns only have one signed quarterback on their roster in Brian Hoyer. I’ll take the assumption that at some point in the draft, Cleveland will select a quarterback but not two. This would mean that signing a “chach” to fill the third string role would be eminent as the season creeped closer.

Mark Sanchez did lead his New York Jets to the AFC Championship game in both of his first two seasons at quarterback in the NFL. His rookie year was definitely a roller coaster, but what quarterback’s first season isn’t just that? Amazingly enough, his (9-7) Jets made it all the way to the third round of the postseason. The Bengals and Chargers were both victims to Sanchez and company by scores of  24-14 and 17-14 respectively. Their magical run ended in poor fashion, a rough loss to Indianapolis, 30-17. For a rookie, I’d say that’s a pretty damn impressive first year at the helm. He found a way to get it done when it counted most, and that’s something that’s been missing in Cleveland for a long time.

His second year was a vast improvement stat-wise. He tossed 17 touchdowns compared to only 13 interceptions with nearly 3,300 passing yards for the year. Record wise, it definitely showed. The Jets finished the season 11-5, and all 16 games featured Sanchez running the show. Rewind all the way back to 1994 for the last time the Browns had an 11-5 season.

Unfortunately for the Jets, it would be the same result in the 2010 post-season, too. The AFC Championship was a hump Sanchez and the gang could never overcome. That year, it was the Steelers who defeated them by a score of 24-19.

2011 and 12 were bad years for Sanchez. I won’t beat around the bush on that simple fact. And of course, the classic “Butt Fumble” happened, too. Yikes. However, in 2011 the Jets finished 8-8, and the year after they ended with a 6-10 mark. Both of these records happen to be better than the Browns in each of those two seasons. Bounce back to 2007 for a Cleveland season better than 6-10.

I believe that Mark Sanchez having to sit out the 2013 season did him a lot of good. Obviously, I wouldn’t wish a torn labrum to my worst enemy, but it did give hive a chance to collect himself as a player. Additionally, a third bad year in row could have really hurt his chances at ever starting for another team in the future.

The Browns are in need of quarterbacks for this season with the release of both Jason Campbell and Brandon Weeden. I’d like to see them take a shot on Mark Sanchez because he has proven that he CAN do it and HAS done it in the past. Every quarterback has a bad year or two, but a comeback is a strong possibility.

He doesn’t have to start, he doesn’t even have to play, but let’s give the man a chance to prove himself. Who knows if he’d be needed.

Moreover, let’s take into account how many games Brian Hoyer played in last year before getting hurt – two. Football is a dangerous game, and decent backups are always necessary for any team that wants a chance to win.

Additionally, Sanchez will have some pretty great targets to throw the ball to. The strong and explosive Josh Gordon, the speedy Andrew Hawkins and the big tight end, Jordan Cameron. Also, possibly a Sammy Watkins out of Clemson or another wide receiver in the draft. MAN, are those targets that can make it a lot easier for a quarterback to settle in and adjust.

Finally, he has the ability turn and give the ball to former Houston Texan Ben Tate, something the Browns didn’t have until now.

So think about it. Maybe giving a shot to Mark Sanchez wouldn’t be such a crazy idea after all. A proven winner is what this team needs, and Sanchez has done it before.

-Zach Shafron

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