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The Reasons to Stick With Mark Sanchez

The Jets won't make a quarterback change and we take a look at why

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    It shouldn't be hard to explain why your quarterback is your quarterback.

    You get the feeling that the Jets might have dodged a little bit of a bullet this week with the arrival of Sandy.

    With the arrival of a real disaster, there's no time or inclination to spend much time screaming about a sports one so Sunday's blowout loss to the Dolphins and the team's subsequent decision to stick with Mark Sanchez at quarterback were merely acknowledged. That's exactly as it should be and not just because of the massive gulf of importance between storms and football.

    The other reason is because it is very easy to understand why the Jets aren't making a change at quarterback even though the bye week would be the perfect time to switch gears to Tim Tebow. We've laid out a few of the reasons why the Jets have decided to keep rolling with Sanchez, along with counterpoints to each of them should you feel the need to fuel a movement to get the Jets to move on from their former golden boy as he scuffles the way through his fourth year. 

    1. It's Not All His Fault - This is something that comes up often when Rex Ryan and Tony Sparano talk about Sanchez's play and you certainly can't fault its honesty. The line has had its struggles, the running game has been quieter than anyone might have liked and Stephen Hill, Mike Tannenbaum's big second-round pick to help the passing game, can't catch the ball. 

    This certainly isn't a case of Sanchez driving a fully loaded Ferrari into the embankment. No one would blame Martin Scorsese for making a bad movie while using a cast and crew made up of third graders. 

    Counterpoint - Quarterbacks have raised the level of play among their teammates plenty of times in the history of the NFL and they continue to do it today. Sanchez isn't solely to blame for what's gone wrong, but there's not much positive to be said about a quarterback who can't succeed unless conditions are absolutely perfect. 

    2. Progress - Another constant line from the coaches is that Sanchez is showing improvement at this or that part of his game. It usually goes hand in hand with it not all being his fault. 

    Counterpoint - There's no statistical evidence that Sanchez is getting better. You'd be hard-pressed to sell claims that watching him play leaves a different impression. 

    3. Stubborn Rex - If Ryan pulls the plug now, he knows that there will be no way to go back to Sanchez and no way to get back whatever he loses in terms of credibility after such full-throated support of Sanchez over the years. Call it loyalty if you prefer a more positive spin, but there's no question that Rex would be more exposed without Sanchez out front to take hits for him. 

    Counterpoint - Good coaches don't worry about possible credibility loss (they don't overpromise at every turn either) because they know when changes have to be made. The less charitable spin is that Rex is using Sanchez as protection for himself. 

    4. The Tebow Conundrum - Putting Tebow into the starting lineup and watching him pull off another winning streak like last year would make it very difficult for the Jets to enter next season (barring Peyton Manning hitting the market again) without any quarterback other than Tebow as their starter. Like plenty of others, Ryan and Sparano don't seem to think that's a viable long-term strategy and that might be pushing them to resist a player who was obviously forced upon them in the first place. 

    Counterpoint - You aren't winning. Change that now and worry about the rest later. 

    Josh Alper is also a writer for Pro Football Talk. You can follow him on Twitter.