Mark Sanchez has quarterbacked the New York Jets to two AFC Championship Games in three years — and yet here we are, speculating about Peyton Manning potentially replacing Sanchez at the helm in Florham Park, N.J. Sanchez likely isn’t too happy about it — and according to teammate LaDainian Tomlinson, he really wouldn’t take kindly to a backup role in 2012.
“I don’t know if he would handle it well,” Tomlinson said yesterday on the NFL Network, according to USA Today. “I think he would probably go in and maybe ask to be released. Here is Mark Sanchez’s gripe: ‘I took you guys to two straight AFC Championship Games. Yeah, I didn’t get it done last year, but my first and second year, I took you to two AFC Championship Games. How can you turn around and just bring in another quarterback right now?’”
Tomlinson was a teammate on one of those two playoff teams — he arrived in 2010 and played for the Jets team that lost the conference title game to Pittsburgh. He also played for the squad that flopped in 2011, going 8-8 to miss the postseason (arguably due to Sanchez’s erratic play).
Tomlinson, now a free agent, supports Sanchez’s right to be angry if the Jets take away his starting job.
“Rightfully so, he would be a little mad,” the running back said. “That’s all a part of it. But at the same time, if he could grow up a little bit and try to learn from somebody like Peyton Manning, then maybe in a couple of years — two or three years — if they did decide to go with Peyton Manning, he could learn from that and then also be the quarterback again.”