Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 7/31/13
The New York Jets start their season with a new emphasis on finding a new identity. Tim Tebow is in New England, Mike Tannenbaum was fired, and Darrelle Revis is now in Tampa Bay. And though Rex Ryan is still the head coach, there is a big thing the Jets need to figure out: the controversy of who will be the starting quarterback.Mark Sanchez was supposed to be that starting quarterback. The face of the franchise who has long been in the shadow of the Giants and the legacy of Jet legend Joe Namath. Even Namath himself said that Sanchez would be the man to lead his team to a Super Bowl. But even though the Jets went to two straight AFC title games, they were always in the shadow of the Giants who won two Super Bowls during Ryan and Sanchez's tenure.The Jets tried to steal some pre-game buzz away from the 2011 Super Bowl champion Giants last year by bringing in Tebow to work with Sanchez to work in the wildcat offense. But that experiment failed miserably and Sanchez faltered when the Jets were going downhill. It was obvious to many Jet fans that Sanchez lost a lot of confidence in himself as much as fans were losing confidence in him. Now that the Jets have drafted Geno Smith, there's a big question that will be answered in a few days at Jets camp: who will start for the Jets at quarterback? Who deserves the job? It's clear that despite the fact that the Jets didn't give Sanchez a lot of help as well as a lot of accurate play calling from the coaches around Ryan, the team is moving to make Smith their new starting quarterback. While playing for West Virginia, Smith showed a lot of his talent by throwing and running with lightning-quick speed and accuracy. He was so good that it was a surprise to many that he was drafted 39th overall on the second day after he was expected to be picked in the first round. But while it's inevitable that Smith will get the starting job, some say Sanchez can still be great.Namath has criticized the Jets for drafting a good new quarterback while neglecting to work better with Sanchez. It's hard to count out Sanchez in his career since he is going into his fifth season. If Smith does do well for the Jets this year then Sanchez will move on to free agency and go some other team that can get his confidence back. But if Smith struggles then Sanchez might get his starting job back. But who ever is the starting quarterback for the 2013 season, the Jets are going to have to work on a lot of things to get back on track. John Idzik has replaced Tannenbaum but Ryan is still calling the shots. Smith or Sanchez will be under a lot of pressure to succeed for the Jets and fans will be watching every move, but the team need to show consistensy and not go into another identity crisis.   
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