Eagles Wake-Up Call: Sanchez’s Limitations

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Mark Sanchez started 62 games for the Jets before his 27th birthday. He played in six playoff games and twice was one win away from the Super Bowl.

But at this point in his career, if he wants a shot to be the No. 1 guy again, he’s first going to have to prove he’s worthy as a backup. With a one-year deal from the Eagles, Sanchez will compete with Matt Barkley (and maybe even a rookie) to provide insurance for Nick Foles.

Publicly, Chip Kelly has stressed decision-making and accuracy with his quarterbacks. John Middlekauff, a former scout for the Eagles, said Kelly did the same thing internally:

Which makes the Sanchez addition curious. He is one of two QBs in the last 10 years (Kerry Collins is the other) to attempt at least 1,500 passes, complete worse than 56 percent and average less than 6.5 YPA. In other words, he hasn’t been very accurate and he hasn’t been able to get the ball downfield (granted, Sanchez hasn’t played with the most talented pass-catchers).

During an interview with Ross Tucker, Greg Cosell of NFL Films offered his opinion of what Sanchez’s limitations are.

“You’re dealing with three things that he ultimately struggles with, which is why he fits the category that you just described [a backup, not a starter],” Cosell said. “Number one, he has some arm strength limitations. Number two, he has some issues with decision-making and processing of information quickly. And number three, he’s essentially a pocket quarterback and he does not have very good pocket movement. So when you look at those three so-called flaws in his game, it limits what he can be. And eventually, over time, the more games you play, that all comes out.”

According to Adam Caplan, Sanchez’s one-year deal is worth $2.25 million with $1.5 million guaranteed. This isn’t someone the Eagles are signing for the veteran minimum and can cut ties with in August if things don’t work out. Sanchez will be on the roster and probably has the inside track to be the backup.

Which brings us to Matt Barkley. A month ago, I would have said to pencil him in as the backup. But now Barkley is no guarantee to be on the 53-man roster. He’ll get a chance to compete for the backup job, but if Kelly sees a quarterback in the draft that he likes, Barkley will likely have to beat him out to make the team.

One way or another, there will once again be a QB competition this spring and summer at the NovaCare Complex. But this time around, it’ll be for the backup job.

WHAT YOU MISSED

A roundup of what the national media are saying about DeSean Jackson and the Eagles.

Mike Mayock says the Eagles should forget WR and draft defense with the 22nd pick.

A player-by-player breakdown of the Birds’ current depth chart at WR.

Jackson seems likely to sign with the Redskins.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

Robert Griffin III on the possibility of the Redskins adding Jackson, via ESPN.com:

Jackson arrived in northern Virginia on Monday night and dined with members of the Redskins coaching staff, including coach Jay Gruden. He later went to a club with current Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall and wide receiver Pierre Garcon. Both players have publicly stated their desire for Jackson to join the Redskins, as has quarterback Robert Griffin III.

“Very exciting player. Determined to show he is the best and hungry to win. My kinda guy,” Griffin told ESPN’s Britt McHenry.

Are teams contacting the LAPD about Jackson? From NJ.com:

The Washington Redskins are reportedly close to signing former Philadelphia Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson, and a law enforcement source told NJ.com on Tuesday that the club wasn’t among the NFL teams that reached out to Los Angeles Police Department after Jackson was connected to reputed gang members.

According to the source, the San Francisco 49ers and the Oakland Raiders have asked the LAPD about Friday’s NJ.com story. Jackson was cut less than an hour after the story was published.

COMING UP

There’s always plenty to cover with this team.

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