Psychology is sometimes obvious, yet people make the same psychological mistakes over and over again. Last year, the Jets acquired Tim Tebow from Denver. Although Tim is a poor quarterback, he is a “winner” and helped Denver go far in the playoffs. The Jets started the first game using Tebow effectively, putting him during short yardage situations. For some reason, they didn’t do that in the following games.
Then Sanchez started having some troubles. His accuracy was off. Maybe it was because he wasn’t in every snap, who knows? However, the fans started screaming. They wanted Tebow in full time. The fans screamed non-stop all season and the Jets coaches used Tebow less and less.
Here is the problem: It’s hard to play when the media and the fans are freaking out and booing. Luckily, there is a simple solution. They could have let Tebow play full time, let him win or lose. If he wins, great. If he loses, then put Sanchez back in. Then the crowd will stop calling for Tebow because they have direct evidence that he didn’t win.
Fast forward to this year. They have a new Tebow, named Geno Smith. Geno is a rookie and an unproven quarterback. The Jets will enter the exact same situation if they start Sanchez. The fans will boo him at the first sign of trouble. He will start to doubt himself and 2012 will repeat.
The Jets should start Geno Smith, regardless of who is better in practice.
The reason is simple. The fans NEED to see for their own eyes whether Geno Smith is a good QB or not. Let him play a few games. If he goes 0-3, the crowd will welcome Sanchez back with open arms and he will feel more confident. If he goes 3-0, celebrate and keep doing it! If he goes 1-2, they may need to play him a little further.
The point is, don’t repeat the same mistake as last year. Let the fans see their “hope” in reality. Otherwise, they will scream for blood and Sanchez will have a nervous breakdown. More importantly (for the fans), he won’t win.
The Jets have proven to me that they will do the wrong thing in all circumstances. I fully expect them to start Sanchez and replace him on/off all season. Ugh. Not likely they will read this suggestion.