Rex says Sanchez is Jets' starting QB 'this week'

Associated Press Modified: October 10, 2012 at 7:46 pm •  Published: October 10, 2012
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It's probably time the Jets make the most of the player they advertised as being a guy who could be a game-changing element to the offense. The Tebow-featured wildcat-style offense, Ryan acknowledged, has not produced the results the Jets would have hoped.

But the solution could be simple: Keep both quarterbacks on the field at the same time. All the time.

With many fans and media calling for Tebow to be used more often — and some even clamoring for him to supplant Sanchez as the starter — the pressure's on. Not that that will affect Ryan's decision-making process.

"One thing I know about the public: The public wants to win, just like we do," Ryan said. "The decision of playing Tebow will be my decision. It's not going to be the public's decision or anybody else's. It's on me."

With an offense severely lacking consistent big-play production, in large part because of injuries to wide receivers Santonio Holmes and Stephen Hill, and tight end Dustin Keller, the Jets are short on dynamic players. Second-year receiver Jeremy Kerley is one, but Tebow and running back-kick returner Joe McKnight are two others.

Tebow played seven snaps Monday night, while McKnight was in on nine. If New York is looking for a spark, having both regularly lined up in the backfield — behind Sanchez — could provide that. The Jets have tried that very sparingly, and increasing that approach has been kicked around by the offense in recent weeks.

It would keep Tebow on the field to run, catch or throw the ball at any time, making things even more predictable for opposing defenses.

"This is the reason we brought him here: He's a playmaker, he's a winner," McKnight said. "We put him on the field, he can make things happen."

Having McKnight in the backfield as an emergency valve — an element missing without LaDainian Tomlinson — along with Tebow would help the short passing game.

"Yeah, that would be fun," McKnight said. "Man, that would be something to look forward to right there."

That would also satisfy Sanchez, who would remain the starting quarterback without the awkward and sometimes confusing routine of having one run off the field while the other runs on, and vice versa. It would also mean less of Sanchez lining up as a wide receiver when Tebow lines up under center.

"I think there are definitely parts of that that can be effective, with both of us on the field," Tebow said. "I think we have shown that a few times this year and had some pretty effective plays, but it is something that can work."

As for starting running back Shonn Greene, he's averaging a disappointing 2.9 yards a carry. The Jets could conceivably use him as a "closer," a role he excelled in as a rookie in 2009 when he pounded tired defenders in the second half of games.

Either way, there's still time — and options — remaining for the Jets to make the Sanchez-Tebow dynamic work to win games, without the team having to choose one or the other.

"I'll defer to coach Sparano," Sanchez said. "If that's what he feels can help us win, we'll rally around that and make it work."

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NOTES: Keller thinks he'll play Sunday against Indianapolis after being sidelined four games with a hamstring injury. "It's been way too long, had too many setbacks," he said. "Was smart today, got some good reps in and came out of it healthy. I think I'll be good to go. I'm pretty positive about it." ... C Nick Mangold was unable to practice with an injured right ankle suffered Monday night. He had a high ankle sprain last season that sidelined him for two games. "It's a little better than last year, from what I can tell," he said. "I don't know if I'm better at handling it or just dealing with ankle injuries."

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Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP_NFL

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