Is Mark Sanchez the new Kyle Orton?


The New York Jets not only traded for Tim Tebow Wednesday, they inherited Tebow's immense following.

The wildly-popular quarterback has one of the biggest fan bases in sports. That group will surely follow Tebow to New York when he suits up for his first game with the Jets. Expect Tebow's No. 15 Jets jersey to be one of the NFL's top sellers.

But Johnette Howard of ESPNNewYork.com brought up an interesting point that should be of a big concern to the Jets.

"This is not a move that helps [Mark] Sanchez develop into a better quarterback. It just makes him a more haunted one. He just inherited Kyle Orton’s old life in Denver, where nothing was ever good enough to quiet the Tebow chants."

Has Mark Sanchez become the new Kyle Orton? As Howard wisely points how, how much will be good enough for the Jets’ starter?

If Sanchez loses the season opener, will the "Te-bow" chants start? What if the Jets lose two in a row next season and Sanchez has a couple bad games?

Jets fans are already antsy about Sanchez. They've seen three years of up-and-down football, and the arrow doesn't appear to be trending up. The Jets finally have a competent backup who has won games in the regular season and playoffs, and that is extra ammo for fans.

Orton was ran out of Denver early last season by fan pressure to play Tebow. Sanchez cannot be run out of New York -- his $58.25 million contract extension says so -- but the pressure in New York could be the same or worse than it was for Orton.

Things could get ugly fast if Sanchez doesn’t get off to a fast start. Sanchez has to perform in 2011 or run the risk of being Orton 2.0.