Rex Ryan Should Be Fired After Subjecting Mark Sanchez to Injury in Preseason

Kyle VassaloFeatured ColumnistAugust 25, 2013

Aug. 18, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan walks off the field after the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at MetLife Stadium. Jets win 37-13. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports
Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Jets unnecessarily leaving Mark Sanchez in the game in the fourth quarter of a preseason game showcased why they will never be competitive under Rex Ryan.

Sanchez went down versus the Giants clutching his right shoulder. Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News provides details on the injury:

This comes on the heels of Geno Smith throwing three interceptions in the outing, ultimately clouding a quarterback battle that won't produce a product worthy of being an NFL starter this season.

There is enough evidence to know that Sanchez isn't the Jets' quarterback of the future. With 69 interceptions, 26 fumbles and 68 career touchdowns in his first four seasons, it's clear he isn't capable of protecting the football. Not only is he not the franchise quarterback the Jets hoped he'd be when they traded up to the fifth overall pick in the 2009 draft to get him, he's a liability whenever he has the ball in his hands.

So after four years of miserable performances, why did Ryan feel he needed to see more of Sanchez in the fourth quarter of a seemingly meaningless preseason game? Whether Sanchez lit it up or completely imploded, it's hard to imagine that his play with non-starters in this game would have an impact on the Jets' quarterback situation.

After the game ended, the media had a lot of questions. Ryan's "answers" didn't provide any more clarity on the situation. If anything, we were left even more confused as to why he felt it necessary to leave Sanchez in the game:

At least Ryan holds himself accountable. His frustration is impossible to disguise, and understandably so. The questions he's being asked have no answers. While he suggests it's the injury that has the media second guessing why Sanchez was still in the game, this is a question that would have been asked regardless of how he performed.

While not ideal, Sanchez is still the starter for the Jets, and leaving him out there puts the team at risk of making a horrific quarterback situation even worse.

A rocky start to preseason isn't the end of the line for Smith. As a rookie with a lot of potential but limited experience, growing pains are to be expected. Phenoms like Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson have given the general public irrational expectations of what a rookie quarterback should be. Smith isn't that caliber of a player at this point, but that doesn't mean he's not capable of producing for New York.

Unfortunately, Smith is subject to being mismanaged by his head coach. Now in the heart of a QB controversy in the New York spotlight, he'll likely be thrown right into the fire and expected to save the reeling franchise at some point this season.

Whoever is named the starter is going to enter an offense with a bleak supporting cast. This is a team that threw for a 180.2 yards per game a season ago and did nothing to improve its porous receiving corps. Chris Ivory is certainly an intriguing addition, but he's rushed for less than 600 yards in the past two seasons combined and now has to make a huge jump into his role as not only the feature back, but the focal point of the offense.

Smith and Sanchez are set up to fail, and the blame falls on Ryan. With a lack of talent on the offensive side of the ball and a head coach who is clearly lost steering the ship, it's hard to imagine he makes it through this season.

The early success Ryan saw as head coach of the Jets is a distant memory. His defensive expertise is no longer enough to mask his offensive shortcomings.

The good news for Jets fans is that the Jets are putting themselves in position to land a top-notch prospect like Teddy Bridgewater or Jadeveon Clowney. Unfortunately for Ryan, he won't be around to see it happen.