Kris Jenkins rips Mark Sanchez

December, 19, 2012
12/19/12
8:25
PM ET
Too many photo shoots, too little time with the playbook.

To former Jets defensive lineman Kris Jenkins, that's the root behind quarterback Mark Sanchez's regressions, which caused him to be benched for this week's game against San Diego.

"What Sanchez has to take responsibility for is during the time that he could have gotten better, he wanted to sit back. He wanted to pose for magazines, worry about his haircuts and do all of that stuff," Jenkins said on Wednesday's episode of "Inside the NFL." "I’m just saying, from what I saw him do, it was a lot better than what it is now. But he coasted. They coddled him. That was what was going on. This is a man’s profession. You have to man up at some point in time and take care."

[+] EnlargeKris Jenkins
Howard Smith/USA TODAY SportsKris Jenkins said Mark Sanchez has "to man up at some point in time."
Jenkins played with the Jets from 2008 until 2010, playing with Sanchez for two years. In those years, Sanchez led the Jets to back-to-back AFC Title games only to fall short both times. Last year and this year, however, Sanchez hasn't been able to get the Jets to the playoffs.

As Sanchez's future with the Jets now comes into question, Jenkins doesn't believe Sanchez will be a good teammate if he is no longer the team's quarterback of the future. The Jets named Greg McElroy, a seventh-round pick in 2011, their starter for this week's game.

"I think that if you leave Sanchez in that locker room, he is going to become a bad apple," Jenkins said. "And the locker room has been fragile for the past two years."

While the Jets have lots of money tied up in Sanchez, they could pull the cord on their partnership this offseason. If that's the case, Jenkins doesn't believe that would translate into a starting gig for Sanchez. The former defensive lineman believes 49ers' quarterback Alex Smith, who also lost his job, would be a much hotter commodity.

"You know Alex Smith is going to get a job somewhere else, too," Jenkins said. "Sanchez won't."

Beyond Sanchez, Jenkins sees the Jets going nowhere soon.

"Unfortunately, I think the only thing that they are going to achieve for the next couple of years is being on somebody’s comedy reel," Jenkins said. "It’s not football that they are doing. It is an organized business. They brought Tebow in, I still feel, for a business transaction [to] sell some jerseys and make everybody feel good. You have him backing up Sanchez. He can only throw the ball so far. He does a couple of things during third-and-short, fourth-and-short. That’s it. But he still played better then Vernon Gholston. It’s a lot of the picks that the Jets have picked over this time that haven’t helped."

Matt Ehalt

ESPN New York contributor

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