When he played for USC under the tutelage of present Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, the world seemed to be Mark Sanchez's oyster. He was a stunningly handsome, confident, and clever Latino who happened to play quarterback for Los Angeles' best football team, which meant his path to fame—and hot Hollywood trim—was much shorter than most. When he was picked fifth by the New York Jets in the 2009 NFL draft, he seemed perfectly groomed for the media scrutiny that comes with playing in New York. But Sanchez has proven to be a pedestrian pro signal caller, and fans of the 3-5 Jets are calling for his head. His megawatt backup, Tim Tebow, gives Sanchez's critics a ready-made solution to the incumbent's ineptitude; in Tebow and Matt Flynn, respectively, the Jets and Seahawks boast the two highest-paid clipboard wielders in the league. Whichever team loses might soon give its contingency plan a shot, as the playoffs are growing ever more elusive. MIKE SEELY
August 14th 2009 NY Jets Preseason at the Meadowlands: Jets quaterbacks Mark Sanchez sits on the sideline during the loss to the Rams.