Remember all the hub-bub last year when Pete Carroll tried to keep QB Mark Sanchez from going pro? People got all over Pete. They thought he should have been more supportive of his guy going pro.
Pete knew two things:
1 – USC needed Mark Sanchez to return
2 – Sanchez wasn’t ready for the NFL
The Trojans have been blown out in some recent games. The defense has caught most of the flak, but the offense hasn’t helped matters. The offense only put up 20 points at Oregon. One way to slow down the Ducks offense would have been to keep the ball away from them. The next week USC only scored 14 points in a win over Arizona State. Last week USC lost to Stanford 55-21. The 55 points allowed is the number that sticks out, but QB Matt Barkely had 4 turnovers. He hasn’t thrown for more than 200 yards in any of the last 3 games. You can bet Sanchez would have made a substantial difference for the Trojans. No way they lose 3 games if he comes back.
Sanchez hasn’t played any worse than most NFL rookies. The Jets are 4-5 and competitive. However, they got off to a fast start. Since then they have lost 5 of 6. Sanchez has 12 INTs. He’s fumbled 8 times, but only lost a couple of them. Mark has completed 53 percent of his passes and has a rating of 66.5. Mark has had some good moments, but I think anyone would agree that another year at USC would have helped him. He’s benefited from playing behind a good OL and having the NFL’s #1 rushing attack. Think about how much success Matt Ryan had last year with a similar set up. He was able to lead that team to the postseason. He was a mature, experienced QB. Sanchez is still learning how to play QB. He had 14 starts under his belt coming out of USC. With preseason games included, Sanchez has 13 starts this year.
While everyone picked on Sam Bradford for staying in school, Sanchez might have really benefited. If he had a good year at USC there is a real chance he’d have been the #1 QB taken in the 2010 Draft, possibly #1 overall.