Three Reasons Jets Should Start McElroy

October 3, 2012 Updated: October 1, 2015
New York Jets v Philadelphia Eagles
Greg McElroy was the only quarterback to lead the Jets to a touchdown in the four preseason games. (Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

With the Jets needing a quarterback change in the worst way, there’s one option that keeps getting overlooked in the team’s near-quarterback controversy—Greg McElroy.

The Alabama-alum was a seventh-round pick (208th overall) by the Jets in 2011 and outside of some preseason action McElroy has yet to throw a pass in the NFL. But let’s remember he was the only one of the three quarterbacks to lead the team to an offensive touchdown in four preseason games.

The Jets should make a change at quarterback this week and it should be McElroy that gets the call. Here’s three reasons why.

1. It’s tough to put up worse numbers than Sanchez. After four weeks of play, the former first-round pick (5th overall) has a lowly quarterback rating of 69.6—good for 30th out of 32 quarterbacks in the league, just ahead of rookies Ryan Tannehill and Brandon Weeden.

If those aren’t numbers that’ll get you a spot on the Jets’ bench, then they should have no problem inserting any other quarterback in this league and seeing what they can do.

For his part, not only did he lead the team to an offensive score in the preseason, he went a combined 16/23 passing for 139 yards and a touchdown—good for a preseason quarterback rating of 99.7.

2. Tebow looks better suited in the Wildcat formation—for now. The popular quarterback is a somewhat known quantity in this league as being a tremendous scrambling quarterback with an incredible flair for the dramatic.

It’s certainly not impossible to win consistently with a running quarterback who has struggled with throwing accuracy but it doesn’t happen often in the NFL. Should McElroy turn out to put up numbers just as bad as Sanchez they can always go back to Tebow and see if he can come up with the same magic he had last season in Denver.

Besides, the Jets really haven’t given him much of a chance in the Wildcat formation this season. They should run more Wildcat plays either way—anything is better than Shonn Greene’s 2.8 yards per carry average.

3. Four weeks may signal a panic move, but not three-plus seasons. Sanchez’s struggles haven’t been limited to this season alone. It’s expected a rookie quarterback will struggle in the NFL and he did to the tune of a 63.0 quarterback rating in 2009, his first season.

But he didn’t exactly get that much better as a sophomore, posting a rating of 75.3 and followed that up with last year’s 78.3. He got a pass his sophomore season for still being young and coming up big in the playoffs for the second straight season, though.

But last year, as the defense didn’t have the same bite and the offense—passing in particular—was clearly exposed. It really became a pass-happy league last year, with yardage and rating records set, but the Jets were on the outside looking in.

With a whole offseason to digest such a disappointing season, the popular thinking was that Sanchez would come back a changed, more accurate quarterback. To put another carrot in front of him, the team even went out and got a capable backup in Tebow.

It didn’t work though. Sanchez has completed less than half his passes in three straight games and the offense as a whole looks awful. It’s time for a change. It’s time to play McElroy.

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