Sanchez, who was formally introduced Monday as the Broncos’ newest addition, follows additions such as Peyton Manning, DeMarcus Ware and Emmanuel Sanders who had previous success but had some big moments after joining the Broncos. Sanchez called it a “re-invigorating feeling" to be traded from the Philadelphia Eagles and “I can’t tell you how thrilled and excited I am to be here."
Now it’s up to Sanchez to do his part. The Broncos are expected to try to add another veteran quarterback in the coming weeks and will certainly take a long look at the quarterbacks in the draft, but Sanchez knows about the Broncos’ version of the West Coast offense, or the version Broncos’ coach Gary Kubiak will likely use now that Manning has retired.
“I think it’s a great fit and could be a smooth transition," Sanchez said. “I’ve seen [Kubiak’s] success, not only as a player, but as a coach and one of the great offensive minds in this league. That is encouraging as a quarterback. I feel like they put their quarterback in a great situation and that’s with the personnel around the quarterback, the defense, the special teams, everything involved ... I have run a lot of those concepts. I’ve seen a lot of their stuff on film. That’s encouraging, and I think it will be a smooth transition."
The Broncos have told Sanchez he will have the opportunity to compete for the starting job moving forward, likely against at least one, and possibly two, quarterbacks to be revealed later. Trevor Siemian is the only other quarterback on the Broncos roster at the moment, and the Broncos feel good enough about the seventh-round pick in the 2015 draft to have used him as the team’s No. 2 quarterback when Manning was trying to rehab a left foot injury. Siemian played one snap -- a kneel-down -- this past season.
Broncos executive vice president of football operations/general manager John Elway said Sanchez could add “leadership" and “will compete."
At his best, Sanchez has been an efficient player who has four playoff wins and was a part of two Jets teams that advanced to back-to-back AFC Championship Games.
When things did not go well he did not play with confidence and defensive coordinators often said they believed they could turn one mistake from Sanchez into several. One of the low points was his Thanksgiving Day fumble against the New England Patriots in 2012, when Sanchez collided with a teammate's butt and lost the ball.
His fate with the Broncos moving forward might rest on whether or not he can take care of the ball. In the four seasons he has started at least 15 games -- all with the New York Jets -- Sanchez threw at least 18 interceptions in three of those seasons.
He started eight games in 2014 with the Eagles and threw 11 interceptions.
“I think the most important thing -- any successful team and any time that we’ve has success -- is the team that hasn’t turned the ball over, whether it is interceptions or fumbles or anything," Sanchez said. “You look at the final four teams every year, those are the teams with the best turnover ratio and the best turnover margins. In the years we were successful in New York, that was the case. That’s really the name of the game."
Kubiak has had some success with reclamation projects in the past. When Jake Plummer arrived as a free agent in Denver in 2003, he had thrown at least 14 interceptions in all six of his seasons with the Cardinals, including four in which he threw 20. In three seasons with Kubiak as his play-caller, Plummer had the only two seasons of his career when he threw fewer than 10 interceptions -- seven each in ’03 and ’05.
‘I’m going to take all that experience that I have learned from any mistakes and build on any of the positive things and just put my best foot forward here as a Bronco and help this team win," Sanchez said. “ ... I just want to play ball and I want to win. I really want to win, and I’m so lucky to be in a spot like this. Every waking moment, that’s all I’m thinking about. What an opportunity this is. I want to win and I want to play here."