Monday, March 24, 2014
Eagles a perfect landing spot for Sanchez
By Todd Archer
The Philadelphia Eagles need a backup quarterback. Mark Sanchez needs a new place to restart his career.
With ESPN Insider Chris Mortenson reporting Sanchez is expected to sign with the Eagles, it brings together two sides filling a major need.
Nick Foles is without question the Eagles' starter. He threw 27 touchdown passes and had just two interceptions while compiling an 8-2 record in 2013. But with Michael Vick off to the New York Jets and Matt Barkley an unknown, coach Chip Kelly is dipping into the Pac-12 quarterbacks again.
Kelly was Oregon's offensive coordinator when Sanchez played at Southern Cal.
We will now get to see if he can revitalize Sanchez.
Things started so well for Sanchez with the Jets. He helped New York and Rex Ryan to two straight AFC Championship Games, losing to Peyton Manning and Ben Roethlisberger, but he never made the next step in his career.
His best statistical year came in 2011, when he threw for 3,474 yards with 26 touchdowns and 18 interceptions, but the Jets lost their final three games and that was the end of offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer.
Tony Sparano did not help Sanchez in 2012. A shoulder injury kept Sanchez out last year.
Provided the shoulder checks out, Sanchez will become the backup to Foles.
Kelly's first order of business is lifting Sanchez's accuracy. He is a 55.1 percent passer for his career. The best he has had in his career is 56.7 percent. In today's NFL with the rules the way they are, quarterbacks must complete about 65 percent to be effective.
With the Eagles, Sanchez would have better tools around him, especially on the offensive line. He could have DeSean Jackson at wide receiver, at least for a minute. He would have Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper to go with Brent Celek and Zach Ertz at tight end. And of course he would have LeSean McCoy.
He would also have Kelly, who has won with different kinds of quarterbacks along his stops at New Hampshire, Oregon and last year with the Eagles.
The Eagles are not the ground-and-pound of the Jets in Sanchez's first two years, but Kelly will run the ball to control the game and his quarterback.
Sanchez would be going to a perfect spot without the pressure to be the Sanch-ise. All he would need to be is a backup, not a savior.