It has been almost a decade since the former New York Jets face of the franchise, Mark Sanchez, took a snap under center in green and white.
Sanchez’s career never materialized after its hot start in 2009 and 2010 . The Jets made the AFC Championship game during the quarterback’s rookie and sophomore campaigns under Rex Ryan, but things went downhill from there.
The ex-Jet signal-caller landed on his feet pretty quickly, taking a job as an ESPN college football analyst alongside Jonathan Vilma. Now it appears Sanchez could be in line for a promotion, but he’s got some stiff competition for the job.
Sanchez Auditions for CBS Booth
Andrew Marchand of the New York Post reported that Sanchez was one of four analysts to audition for a broadcasting role with CBS. The gig would be replacing former CBS commentator Rich Gannon, whose contract was recently not renewed .
The other contenders are fellow ESPN analyst and former wide receiver Joey Galloway, recent Dallas Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee , and 2020 AP Comeback Player of the Year and fellow quarterback Alex Smith.
All four are former players, but Galloway has been away from the game the longest, while the other three all competed in the NFL within the last five years.
Of course, Sanchez and Galloway both have more professional experience outside of the league, being that they have been working at ESPN. Despite that, Smith could already be the favorite for the role. Marchand wrote that “one person who saw Smith’s audition thought he had ‘No. 2 or 3 game analyst’ potential if he is into it.”
To be fair, it seemed like Sanchez might have impressed CBS as well. Marchand said that one executive loved the former Jets’ “personality” and thought it might help him “excel in the booth.”
That same personality was always beloved by the Jets fanbase, and still is in most cases. Charisma, looks, character, Sanchez had all the defining traits of the face of a franchise. Now add that analyst-Mark is confident, well-spoken and knowledgeable and the combination forms a pretty solid candidate.
Similarities Between Zach Wilson & Sanchez Eras
Whether Jets fans are pulling for Sanchez to land the job or not, it would be kind of cool to hear the former Gang Green quarterback call a game that has Zach Wilson leading the Jets offense.
There are already a few similarities between Wilson and Sanchez, not necessarily in terms of style of play but surroundings and public opinion.
First off, both quarterbacks have that franchise QB “look.” Joe Namath had it too, and the New York City media eats it up. Both also came from the west coast, as did Sam Darnold (USC along with Sanchez ). Wilson played for BYU as a Utah native .
More important than all of that, the optimism surrounding the Robert Saleh takeover is eerily similar to the 2009 season under Coach Ryan. Rex and Sanchez started their Jets careers together, just like Saleh and Wilson will in 2021, an intense defensive mastermind with a promising young quarterback .
The Jets also had a magnificent offensive line when Sanchez was at the helm, with Nick Mangold and D’Brickashaw Ferguson in their prime. They are a bit younger, but Alijah Vera-Tucker and Mekhi Becton could make a fearsome duo in the present day, with Connor McGovern as a very serviceable center alongside them.
The current Jets roster is definitely younger defensively, but former Baltimore Ravens linebackers Bart Scott and C.J. Mosley draw some accurate comparisons. Free-agent Jarrad Davis just needs to play like David Harris to make that one stick.
Obviously, Jets fans will hope that the Wilson era ends differently than the Sanchize one, but the ride wasn’t all that bad. One request, let’s get to a Super Bowl this time around.