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Friday, May 31, 2013
Can Marty Ball save Sanchez?

By Rich Cimini

 

Rex Ryan took a walk on the wild side in the offseason, hiring pass-happy coordinator Marty Mornhinweg to take over the Jets' moribund offense. Mornhinweg comes from good stock. He played for Mike Holmgren in high school and learned from Bill Walsh and Andy Reid in the NFL. But can he fix the struggling Mark Sanchez?

I spoke to Mornhinweg, Holmgren and Hall of Famer Steve Young, who played for Mornhinweg, to get some answers.

Hall of Famer Steve Young was in Nashville, Tenn., on Dec. 17, the night Mark Sanchez's career turned into a country-music song -- a sad ballad about hitting rock bottom after a long fall.

"To me," Young said this week, "it just looked like a capitulation from a quarterback."

That's a fancy way of saying Sanchez gave up.

Young, working the New York Jets-Tennessee Titans game for ESPN, saw what America saw that Monday night. Sanchez threw four interceptions, lost a fumble with the game on the line and lost his starting job, which he may never get back.

"Capitulation" is a harsh word -- also hard to rhyme in a song -- but there's no doubt Sanchez was throwing to ghosts on that ill-fated night in Dixie.

Now here we are, six months later, and Sanchez is trying to win back his team and its fans. The man charged with fixing him is a blast from Young's past, offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, who faces perhaps the biggest challenge of his career.