Is Eva Longoria What’s Wrong With Mark Sanchez?

Mark Sanchez and Eva Longoria

Possibly the biggest question in the NFL this week is, “What’s wrong with the New York Jets?”  Followed closely by, “What’s wrong with Mark Sanchez?”

The Jets were shut out for the first time since 2010 on Sunday, losing to the San Francisco 49ers 34-0.  At home.  Amongst boos.  Jets Quarterback Mark Sanchez put up 0 fantasy points this week.  Well, not exactly zero.  He had .12.  Yes, this is how we measure football players now.  And he didn’t look much better last week.  Or the week before.

Opinions on Sanchez are like fantasy teams, everyone has got one.  Here is a poignant one by former linebacker and four time Super Bowl Champion Bill Romanowski:

Whether or not football is one of them, Sanchez does have a new love in his life…Actress Eva Longoria.  The two have been dating for weeks and recently made their first official appearance together.  Those close to the player say Sanchez is head over her six inch heels.  What the actress lacks in height, she makes up for in years.  Longoria is twelve years senior to the 25-year-old quarterback, who does have experience dating Hollywood stars, including actresses Jamie-Lynn Sigler and Hayden Panettiere, along with a Victoria’s Secret model.  Or two.

In an interview with GQ Magazine last September, Sanchez was asked about his perfect woman.  He described someone his mom would love.  “I mean, love her.”  But he also said he questions getting seriously involved while football is still his top priority.  “Cynically, I think: Okay, how is this person going to help me win a Super Bowl?”

By that measure, Longoria is not off to a great start.  So, is Eva Longoria the new Jessica Simpson?  Is she what’s wrong with Sanchez?  In short, no.  We haven’t seen her at Met Life Stadium in a pink Sanchez jersey.  And we likely won’t (she has much better taste than that).  And Sanchez has always had his ups and downs.  More downs than ups lately.  His critics have never been sold on his leadership or his ability to win big games (even though he took the Jets to the 2009 AFC Championship his rookie season).  And let’s face it…if the Jets were sold on him, why did they go after Peyton Manning, then bring in Tim Tebow?

Head Coach Rex Ryan gave his team Monday and Tuesday off following their loss, saying the players need to do some “soul searching.”  I’m pretty sure Mark Sanchez won’t find what he’s looking for under the covers with Eva Longoria.  But then again, maybe he will.

And they would have such cute kids.


Coffee Cup Quarterback (Monday Edition) | Preseason Week 3: The One With the Starters

Ahhh…week three of the NFL preseason.  When the starters actually play and our teams begin to look less like it’s the preseason and more like the regular season.  For some teams, that was good news.  For others…not so much.

The New York Jets were featured on Sunday Night Football hosting the Carolina Panthers.  Panthers Quarterback Cam Newton was in regular season form.  He ran, he threw, he impressed.  And his team went on to beat the Jets 17-12.  No, the Jets don’t have a touchdown yet.  That was four field goals for them.  They have Mark Sanchez, they have Tim Tebow.  Before the season started, we couldn’t stop talking about this duo and what they could do.  And now that it’s started, we can’t stop talking about what they can’t do.  There were visions of hope.  After a thoroughly unsuccessful half by Sanchez (who was booed for letting the clock run down to end it), it was Tebow Time.  Tebow did what Tebow does, which is run and throw to the other team.  At one point, NBC Host Cris Collinsworth was dissecting the mechanics of his unconventional left-handed throw and Tebow broke out for a huge run and first down.  The timing was nothing short of divine.  This is what Tebow can do.  A few plays later…perfectly thrown ball…to a Carolina Panther.  This is also what Tebow can do.

Note to self: take Jets kicker in fantasy draft.  Tebow was eventually booed as well.  Yes, Jets fans booed both of their quarterbacks in one game and it’s only the preseason.  Tough crowd.

And to back up my theory that Twitter has no better use than for in-game football commentary, take this.  For me, the tweet of the night, maybe of the entire preseason:

Michele Tafoya asked Sanchez about the Jets’ lack of a touchdown and he pointed out that there is still a fourth preseason game to be played.  When pressed, he responded, “Looks like we’re saving all our touchdowns for the regular season.”  When they count.  Good plan.

And then we had the battle of the draft picks.  Number one, Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts take on number two, Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins at Fed Ex Field.  There was hype.  There was a t-shirt…

In the end, it was just another preseason game.  Both quarterbacks highlighted their strengths.  Luck threw a lot and ran a little, RGIII threw a little and ran a lot.  Both had moments of brilliance.  Both had rookie mistakes.  The Redskins beat the Colts 30-17.  The most impressive drives came from (wait for it)…Rex Grossman.  Yes, Wrecks Grossman.  The guy who has never really been able to establish himself as solid starting material (at least for long), was brilliant.  Grossman finished 8 of 8 for 130 yards, 2 touchdowns and a perfect 158.3 quarterback rating.  Don’t be surprised if he gets traded to the Jets!

Other highlights for week three of the preseason:

We said hello to: Russell Wilson as starting quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks, Peyton Manning’s first touchdowns (a pair) for the Denver Broncos, and Cornerback Vontae Davis as a Colt, traded to Indy by the Miami Dolphins.

We said goodbye to: Terrell Owens as a Seattle Seahawk (and possibly as an NFL player), Pro Bowl Kicker Billy Cundiff as a Baltimore Raven (the team chose to move on with Rookie Justin Tucker), and many of the players who will be released by our teams as the rosters are reduced to 75 players.

Lest you forget, the NFL really stands for “Not For Long.”

One thing we do hope is not for long…the replacement refs.  There is confusion, discussion, and an on field meeting with practically every call.  The games are being dragged out, and there have been mistakes.  Plenty of them.  But it is the preseason.  And the games don’t count.  Yet.  The players, coaches, even the fans have been fairly patient thus far.  That will end once those calls result in a “W” or an “L” in a team’s record.  We need better than this for the regular season.  And really, by the start of it.

So, let’s hope week four of the preseason brings renewed talks between the NFL and the official officials.

And…a Jets touchdown.


Are the J-E-T-S a J-O-K-E?

They have the most talked about quarterback duo in the National Football League.  Their training camp was a virtual media circus, due mostly to Tebowmania.  We saw everything from stealth wildcat practices to pictures of Tim Tebow running shirtless in the rain.  Sports media and ESPN in particular has been widely criticized for the amount time they have devoted to the Jets and the quarterback contest between Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow.  A tandem which has so far produced 0 touchdowns this preseason.  That’s zero. Zilch. Nada.

That ought to quiet the Jets talk.  Ha!

We know, we know…you can’t jump to conclusions in the preseason.  You can’t take everything (or anything) too seriously.  Preseason is about experimenting, trying different players in different positions, and setting the roster.  But certainly, one of the most important decisions Head Coach Rex Ryan and his staff will be asked to make is…who to start at quarterback.  And the fact that neither Sanchez nor Tebow can seem to find the end zone, is going to make that decision all the more difficult.

A third of the way into the second quarter of Saturday night’s preseason game against the New York Giants, Giants Wide Receiver Victor Cruz had more yards than the Jets offense.  For a while, it seemed like the Jets were getting more offense out of their defense.  At one point, I wondered what would happen if they left them on the field and subbed a quarterback in.  The Jets are the only NFL team in the preseason without a touchdown.  The St. Louis Rams…touchdown, the Jacksonville Jaguars…touchdown, the Indianapolis Colts…many touchdowns.  Quarterback Drew Stanton, who the Jets traded to Indianapolis (as a backup to Andrew Luck), had a touchdown in the Colts Sunday night game against the Steelers.  Wonder how the Jets are feeling about that now?

How serious should we take all of this?  Well, to be fair, with the holes they have in their offensive line (especially at right tackle), it’s almost unfair to judge any Jets quarterback right now.  Sanchez was sacked three times against the Giants (four really, but one was nullified by a penalty).  Even Tebow looked a little (dare we say)…frustrated.  He was sacked repeatedly himself and under constant pressure when he wasn’t running (for his life).

Coach Rex Ryan says he is bothered, but not concerned.

“We don’t need to be at our best right now. We need to be at our best opening day.  I’m confident that when we get going (in the regular season).  We will be.  I’ve seen some encouraging signs.  We’re heading in the right direction.”

Hopefully, the right direction eventually leads them to the end zone.  So to answer the question, “Should we be concerned that the Jets haven’t scored one touchdown this preseason?”  My answer is simple…

“Only if you’re a Jets fan.”


Love Triangle

There’s a strange love triangle forming in Florham Park, New Jersey.  I’m obsessed with it and can’t wait to see how it pans out this fall.  I’m not talking about the Real Housewives of New Jersey.  I’m talking about Rex Ryan…and his two quarterbacks.  And it almost was the RHONJ, but the Jets wisely passed on the HBO documentary Hard Knocks for this season.  They must have decided they want to keep some things in house.  Or Rex Ryan got camera shy.  Not likely, especially now.  The newly slim coach looks like he’s ready for his Hollywood close up, having lost a reported 90 pounds in the offseason.

My fascination with the Jets started early in the offseason, when they were very vocal about their interest in signing Peyton Manning, who was likely to be released by the Colts (and just in case you’ve been occupying a park or living under a bridge, he was).  During this time, it was widely reported that the Jets were shopping their young(ish) starting quarterback Mark Sanchez on the open market.  Manning told the Jets he wasn’t interested and they proceeded to immediately sign Sanchez to a three year extension on his two year contract, totaling almost $60 million.  Just when the fans were convinced this was a vote of confidence in Sanchez, the Jets trade the Broncos for the guy Peyton Manning replaced…Tim Tebow.  Wow!  I am more decisive in the Nordstrom shoe department.

And now the real drama begins…

Early reports are that the Jets are impressed with Tebow, that he and Sanchez are BFFs, and the players so far are charmed.  One guy who’s definitely charmed, Cornerback Darrelle Revis.  Revis downright gushes about Tebow and his character, “Some people have it, some guys don’t.  It’s the passion within, wanting to be a leader, wanting to win.  You see it all the time, eating lunch, walking down the hallway.  You see it.”  Tebow impresses Revis eating lunch?  What the hell is he eating?  Communion wafers?  Apparently so.  Linebacker Bart Scott has taken to calling him “Baby Jesus” and made headlines this week when he asked Tebow to baptize him while soaking in the cold tub after practice.

So it’s safe to say, Tebowmania has hit New Jersey.  Or at least the Jets locker room.  And so far it’s one big love fest.  But what do all these budding bromances mean for Mark Sanchez?  Wait until training camp opens.  And have your popcorn ready.

Take one…