Philadelphia Eagles Need To Give Mark Sanchez 2.0 a Chance


Aug 15, 2014; Foxborough, MA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Mark Sanchez (3) throws a pass against the New England Patriots in the second quarter during the preseason game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Is Mark Sanchez an Option for Starting Quarterback?

My proposal here is not an emotional one. I did not really formulate an opinion of Mark Sanchez, the New York Jets former  quarterback, prior to his arrival in Philadelphia. I am not a “fan” of Sanchez in the sense that many of his loyal supporters are, who feel that he was done wrong by an inept Jets front office and coaching staff, and needs a second chance because of it.

No, my proposition here is a cold and pragmatic one, based not only on recent statistical performance, but also on undeniable visual truths.

The Eagles need to give Mark Sanchez 2.0 a chance to start. And do it now.

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The idea is based on two solid fronts. One, we’ve seen what Sanchez could do in the preseason games with the Eagles fast break offense. Not only did the offense seem even quicker with Sanchez at the helm, but his 80% completion percentage was certainly attention grabbing. He looked like a completely different quarterback than when he appeared with the New York Jets offense. And he showed an athleticism in running the read option, and in the pocket, that was startling to watch.

The second aspect is Nick Foles, the Philadelphia Eagles starting quarterback. Foles had a surprisingly effective year in 2013, as all Eagles fans know, and established quarterback metrics that had many NFL observers wondering aloud. Was his performance due to the greatness of Nick Foles? Or, was the performance a result of the genius of Eagles head coach Chip Kelly’s innovative offensive scheme?

Going into the opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars, it’s safe to say most observers didn’t know the answers to those two questions. And after the bizarre performance by Foles against the Jaguars in Week 1, we still don’t know the answer.

“Everybody should be interested in Mark. He’s done a good job. He’s played well for us. And he’s won a lot of football games in the league. He was sitting in the locker room at halftime of two AFC Championship Games — ahead. So we’re very glad we have him. He’s added a lot to this team. A lot of people should want him, but we have him. That’s the reality.” – Eagles OC Pat Shumur

But we do know one thing for certain. Mark Sanchez right now is better than half of the starting quarterbacks in the NFL. We also know that after this season, he is going to receive a number of offers from other quarterback needy teams to be their starting quarterback. Why should the Eagles just let him go without giving him the same chance that Nick Foles had a year ago to display his talents in the Kelly offense?

Nick Foles is 25 years old. But Mark Sanchez is only 27. He has many productive years left as an NFL starting quarterback.

Now is the time to see what the Eagles have in Sanchez. Not to create a quarterback controversy. But to perform a proof of concept for the development of the Eagles franchise. If Sanchez can perform at anywhere near his preseason form, that would be good news for the Eagles, not bad. Then Kelly can truly asses who should be the starting quarterback for 2015 or sooner.