Former first-round pick released. Player's old coach works for a team in need of help at that position. This stuff just writes itself. NFL scribes aren't a terribly original lot ... probably because the league and teams we cover isn't big on original thinking. All of which is to say that, yes, there could be something to the notion of former Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez signing with the St. Louis Rams.
Jeff Fisher told Jim Corbett of USA Today that the Rams were interested.
"I'd say that there is interest. I can't say how much. But there certainly would be interest,. I don't have a backup with experience on the roster right now.''
That's Fisher being a little coy, as he's known to do. So don't assume this is fait accompli just yet. There's interest and then there's interest!
The Rams do need a veteran backup, even if they do intend to find a rookie to groom in the later rounds of the draft. They've had Shaun Hill in for a visit already this spring, and could be making the calls on Sanchez and other candidates as they search for a veteran.
Wait, why do they need a veteran backup QB? Well, if Sam Bradford gets hurt again, or isn't ready to start the season, or even if Bradford's unable to work with the offense in OTAs and training camp while he recovers from his torn ACL, they Rams aren't going to turn the offense over to a late-round rookie or even Austin Davis ... not in a year where the expectations are for Fisher and Co. to finally compete for a playoff berth.
But Mark Sanchez, he of the Butt Fumble?
Well, he is familiar with Schottenheimer's offensive system, whatever that may be. But isn't he really awful? That's the narrative, but let's look at some numbers.
They're both kind of the perfect Shottenheimer specimen. Just look at that stunning yards/attempt number for both players ... 6.5 Y/A versus 6.3 Y/A. Similar sack rates, approximate value (AV). The completion rate for the second guy isn't so hot, but it's not much worse than the other guy.
So who are the exciting fellows?
Wait ... first, look closely at the numbers and think about which QB you'd rather have running the offense.
There's one number that stands out: interceptions. It's a dead giveaway that the second quarterback, with 69 total picks, is Sanchez. Those are his 2009-2012 season stats (he didn't play last year).
The first set of numbers belongs to the Rams' incumbent quarterback, Bradford.
Neither set of numbers is especially impressive, but those numbers are the Da Vinci code of a Brian Schottenheimer quarterback.
Another set of numbers to consider are fumbles. Sanchez has 43 during his first four years; Bradford has 27.
So on the surface, the idea of the Rams bringing in Sanchez as a backup makes a lot of sense. He's got the experience they're obviously looking for in a backup QB, both in terms of his veteran status and familiarity with the system. And his numbers are pretty much right in line with an average NFL quarterback, perfect for a backup.
Except for the turnovers. The backup's most basic job is not screwing up, which mostly means not turning the ball over wantonly. Sanchez is prone to doing just that.
That said, I won't be the least bit stunned if the Rams do end up signing Sanchez. I hope they don't, but they're running out of options for veteran backups.