On WFAN, Mark Sanchez Reflects On Why His Jets Career Fizzled Out


A decade ago, the future for both the New York Jets and Mark Sanchez could not have been brighter. But after reaching back-to-back AFC championship games in Sanchez's first two seasons, both the Jets and the quarterback lost that magic. 

Gang Green hasn't been back to the playoffs since; Sanchez, 33, is now retired after spending the last several seasons of his career as a journeyman backup.

So what happened? 

Sanchez's theory: There was so much turnover all around him that it stunted his development.

"It started off white hot," he told WFAN's "Boomer and Gio" show Wednesday on Super Bowl Radio Row in Miami Beach, Florida. "We're talking like a firework. This thing was going and had the right trajectory. But ... you've got to develop a quarterback constantly. It takes years and years and years."

Sanchez said the constant changes at receiver made it more difficult to develop a rapport with his targets, and he also said injuries to teammates, coaching turnover and changes to the offense also played roles in him not having more success.

"Every year was a revolving door," he said. "Every year was a new formula. Instead of maybe a draft-and-develop mentality, it was 'let's go sign some of the best guys on the market and see what happens.' And every time you do that, you kind of roll the dice. And it just became difficult for everyone. And ... you're either the hero or the goat. When it doesn't work out, it's just, 'Hey, welp, see you later.' And then I woke up in Philly."

Former Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez chats with WFAN's Gregg Giannotti on Jan. 29, 2019, on Super Bowl Radio Row in Miami Beach, Florida. WFAN

The fifth overall pick in the 2009 draft out of USC, Sanchez said if he and the Jets would have gotten a couple more breaks, their story might've been much different. 

"Hindsight's 20-20," he said. "Listen, I think if some of the guys stayed healthy here or there, and you know the margin for error in this league is so small. You know, one play here, one play there changes perception a little bit, and maybe we stick together a little longer. Maybe we get through one of those valleys and get back up to one of the peaks that we should've been at."

Now a college football analyst for ESPN, Sanchez admits he does sometimes catch himself wondering about what might've been. 

"I've thought about so many good times," he said. "But you can't help, as a competitor, thinking, like, 'God, I mean, we were down 21-3 against the Steelers' (before losing 24-19 in the 2010 AFC championship game). Or we're winning at halftime against Peyton Manning and the Colts my rookie year (in the 2009 AFC title game). I walked in the locker room my rookie year, and I'm like, 'We're going to the Super Bowl. All right, snap out of it. Let's go. Let's focus.' And you're just so close. So those are the things I remember the most."

To listen to Sanchez's interview with Boomer and Gio, click on the audio player above.