Jets QB Sanchez in middle of firestorm
The fallout from the New York Jets failing to make the NFL playoffs is in full swing, with members of coach Rex Ryan's staff leaving, players taking shots at quarterback Mark Sanchez and other players defending him.
NEW YORK — The fallout from the New York Jets failing to make the NFL playoffs is in full swing, with members of coach Rex Ryan's staff leaving, players taking shots at quarterback Mark Sanchez and other players defending him.
In less than 24 hours, the coaching staff was shaken up with offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer walking away, former Dolphins coach Tony Sparano replacing him Wednesday and a few assistants saying they won't be back.
Now the latest controversy involves the shaky status of Sanchez.
Some of his teammates say he lacks the work ethic and leadership skills to lead the Jets to the Super Bowl. And with a new offensive coordinator in charge, the window for Sanchez to do so might have gotten a lot smaller.
"Mark is heading in the right direction," left guard Matt Slauson said. "He is going to be a great quarterback, and I really believe he can lead us to a championship. His rookie year, we went to the AFC Championship (Game) and again last year. The guy can do it. He can get it done. The rest of the team has to do their part, too."
The Daily News quoted one player, who was not identified, as saying Sanchez was "lazy and content." Another player suggested the Jets should do all they can to try to bring in Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, if he's healthy, because Sanchez isn't improving.
"Whoever said all that, they're out of their minds and just trippin'," defensive lineman Marcus Dixon said. "You can't blame a season on one guy. I mean, come on. It's all unfair. We have Mark Sanchez. He's our quarterback. He's our guy."
Sanchez was unavailable for comment.
Colts hire Grigson as GM
INDIANAPOLIS — Ryan Grigson has landed his dream job.
After spending more than a decade on the road, scouting for St. Louis and Philadelphia, the 39-year-old Indiana native is coming home to rebuild the Colts with possibly a new coach, a new quarterback and an entirely different philosophy. For the first time, Grigson will be making all those tough decisions.
"I've been on teams whose guys were run off for the sake of running guys off," Grigson said after agreeing to a four-year deal that includes a team option for a fifth year. "That makes no sense to me. I like to salvage things if the ability is there."
There's no time for on-the-job training, either, with the Colts coming off their worst record (2-14) in two decades and fans expecting an immediate turnaround.
Owner Jim Irsay wants Grigson to make a decision on coach Jim Caldwell, a coach Grigson had never met.
Then the new GM must sort out Indy's complicated salary-cap problem, a major concern for an aging team bereft of young talent and a young GM with little experience with the cap.
The Colts also must decide whether to pay a $28 million bonus to four-time league MVP Manning by March 8, renegotiate the contract or let the face of the franchise walk away as a free agent now that it looks as if the Colts will take Andrew Luck with the No. 1 overall pick in April.
• Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin wasn't with the team and will be away indefinitely as he and his family deal with the loss of his son, Michael, 21, whose body was recovered from an icy Wisconsin river on Monday. Police said preliminary autopsy results showed he drowned. No evidence suggesting foul play was found.
• Mike Mularkey, former Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator, was introduced as the Jacksonville Jaguars' fourth head coach.
• Falcons receiver Roddy White has made his fourth straight Pro Bowl roster. He was added to the NFC team as a replacement for injured Detroit Lions star Calvin Johnson.