Written by Gino Terrell on April 3, 2016 0 Comments
Apr
3rd
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Mark Sanchez during his opening press conference for the Denver Broncos.

Mark Sanchez during his opening press conference for the Denver Broncos.

By Gino Terrell (Twitter: Gin026)

*An original The Hidden Valley World article.

Kate Upton, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Eva Longoria, Hayden Panettiere and Hilary Rhoda are some ladies quarterback Mark Sanchez has been linked to over his seven year career in the NFL.

Now that Sanchez has been traded to the Denver Broncos after his two-year stint with the Philadelphia Eagles, he just wants to win.

“I’m not married, I don’t have a girlfriend, I don’t have kids. I just want to play ball and I want to win,” Sanchez said in his opening press conference with the Denver Broncos. “I’m so lucky to be in a spot like this…every waking moment that’s what I’m thinking about. What a waking moment this is.”

Coming off three years where he’s been limited to action ever since he suffered a shoulder injury in a preseason game with the Jets in 2013, he has been the backup quarterback the past two years for the Philadelphia Eagles.

In 2014, Sanchez came back with a vengeance when he relieved for the injured Nick Foles. He led the Eagles to a 31-21 win against the Houston Texans November 2. The following week he made his Eagles starting quarterback debut Monday Night against the Carolina Panthers where he threw for 332 yards, two touchdowns and finished the night with a quarterback rating of 102.5 before he turned 28 the next day.

Sanchez remained the starter for the rest of the season where the Eagles played their tougher half of the schedule and the team finished 4-4 missing the playoffs at 10-6.

The next season, Sanchez remained the backup quarterback for the Eagles newly acquired quarterback via trade Sam Bradford. After not seeing much action in 2015 and the Eagles going through turnover after the firing of head coach Chip Kelly, Sanchez received a call during the offseason from the Eagles Executive Vice President of Football Operations Howie Roseman.

“I was working out and Howie Roseman called me and he said ‘hey, I got some news for you.’ I was like ‘oh, great,’” Sanchez said on the Dan Patrick Show. “I thought I was going to get released or traded somewhere…he said ‘you’re going to owe me a case of wine for this one.’ I said, ‘what are you talking about?’…I said Denver…Denver, Colorado.”

As soon as Sanchez heard the news he was traded to the Broncos, he said he was excited because he didn’t know what to expect this offseason. After getting the call from John Elway, Hall of Fame Broncos quarterback and now Broncos president, Sanchez said hearing from Elway he would have a shot to compete for the starting quarterback job was “invigorating.”

He credited the organization for building a perennial winner and voiced his excitement to compete for the starting job for the defending champions during his opening press conference.

“This is an opportunity of a lifetime,” Sanchez told Patrick.

ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio said head coach Gary Kubiak told him that he and Elway want Sanchez to be comfortable with them.

“This is [Sanchez’s] last hurrah, this is his last freight train out of the station,” Paolantonio said.

Through Sanchez’s seven year career he’s been through the highs and lows playing under the spotlight in New York. The former 5th overall pick in the 2009 NFL draft out of USC set multiple team rookie records for the Jets, one being the first rookie quarterback to start for the high profiled franchise.

After a 3-0 start, including a 16-9 victory over rivals New England Patriots, they somehow found themselves at 7-7.  They went on to beat the undefeated Indianapolis Colts and beat the playoff contending Bengals to make the playoffs.

Eventually they landed in the AFC Championship game against the Colts where Sanchez thrown an 80-yard touchdown to Braylon Edwards, a team record for the longest postseason play. The defense blew a 17-6 led and they were defeated 30-17.

The following year Sanchez led the league in game winning drives with six, including one against the Colts in the wild card to win 17-16.  The next week, Sanchez threw three touchdowns to help the Jets pull off a 28-21 road victory over the New England Patriots to advance to the AFC Championship back-to-back years. At the time, Sanchez tied NFL record for most road wins in postseason history and owned the Jets franchise record for most postseason wins.

Once again, the Jets were defeated a game away from the Super Bowl as they lost 24-19 against the Pittsburgh Steelers after nearly overcoming a 24-0 deficit.

Year three, the Jets lost many players on their roster including one of Sanchez favorite targets in Edwards. The Jets missed the playoffs for the first time in the “Sanchize” era. However, Sanchez set career highs in passing touchdowns with 26 as well as rushing with 6. His 32 total touchdowns set a team record that was eventually broken in 2015.

Year four for Sanchez in New York was a disaster. Sanchez was made the fall guy on New York tabloids and newspapers for the Jets 6-10 season and a folly that was framed as the stamp of his career, which ESPN and other media outlets used to overshadow his early accomplishments prior.

The 2012 Jets lacked depth on their roster and the injuries to tight end Dustin Keller and primary receiver Santonio Holmes didn’t help Sanchez either. The team drafted Geno Smith in the 2013 NFL draft under their new General Manager John Idzik.

Sanchez and Smith competed for the starting job in the preseason where Sanchez was winning the completion until he was sidelined after taking a blow to his shoulder in the fourth quarter of a preseason game. The injury ended his season and eventually his era with the Jets.

After his two years as a backup in Philadelphia, Sanchez is trying to make the most of his opportunity in Denver. He is even willing to make sacrifices in his personal life to do such.

When Dan Patrick asked Sanchez if he would have more dates or interceptions next season, Sanchez’s answer showed he will be as committed as he can be.

“Hopefully, both at 0,” Sanchez said.