Mcel­roy leaps from 3rd string to starter

Austin American-Statesman - - NFL - By Dennis Waszak Jr.

NEW YORK — Mark Sanchez is no longer the New York Jets’ fran­chise quar­ter­back.

He might not even be the backup.

Rex Ryan de­cided to bench Sanchez on Tues­day in fa­vor of Greg McEl­roy af­ter the fourthyear quar­ter­back had an­other mis­er­able per­for­mance in a 14-10 loss at Ten­nessee on Mon­day night that elim­i­nated New York from play­off con­tention.

“I think it’s best for our team, and for this game,” Ryan said dur­ing a con­fer­ence call.

So, it’ll be McEl­roy un­der cen­ter for his first NFL start when the Jets (6-8) play the San Diego Charg­ers at home Sun­day. Ryan hasn’t de­cided whether Sanchez or Tim Te­bow — listed as the No. 2 quar­ter­back — will be the backup.

While Sanchez blew the sec­ond chance Ryan gave him a few weeks ago, Te­bow was leapfrogged by a third-stringer, fu­el­ing spec­u­la­tion that the team has lit­tle con­fi­dence in him as a quar­ter­back.

“I have to look at what I think is the best for the team and not nec­es­sar­ily the in­di­vid­ual,” Ryan said. “I’ll say this about Tim and I’ve al­ways said it: I know he wants to help this team be suc­cess­ful in the worst way and there’s no doubt about that.”

Sanchez threw four in­ter­cep­tions Mon­day night and wasn’t able to han­dle a low snap with the game on the line, end­ing the Jets’ hopes to get back into the post­sea­son.

Things got worse af­ter the game for Sanchez, who re­ceived a se­ries of death threats from one dis­grun­tled fan on Twit­ter. League spokesman Greg Aiello said the NFL’s se­cu­rity staff was aware of the man’s threats and was work­ing with the Jets to as­sist on the mat­ter. The team de­clined com­ment through a spokesman.

Ryan said af­ter the loss that he wasn’t ready to de­cide who would start against the Charg­ers, but told Sanchez he would be mak­ing a change at quar­ter­back by go­ing with ei­ther McEl­roy or Te­bow.

“He re­spected my de­ci­sion,” Ryan said. “That’s not easy, that’s for sure.”

Af­ter talk­ing to his staff and mem­bers of the or­ga­ni­za­tion Tues­day, Ryan chose McEl­roy.

“This is my opin­ion, and I do be­lieve that it’s best for our team that Greg is our quar­ter­back,” Ryan in­sisted. “Ev­ery de­ci­sion I make is based on what I be­lieve is the best de­ci­sion for the team.”

Af­ter a poor per­for­mance in Mon­day night’s loss at Ten­nessee, Mark Sanchez (above) lost the Jets’ start­ing QB job to Greg McEl­roy. PHE­LAN M. EBENHACK / AP

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