Source: Mark Sanchez to be No. 2

  • Rich Cimini and Jane McManus [ARCHIVE]
  • ESPNNewYork.com | December 21, 2012

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- New York Jets coach Rex Ryan refused to say how he'd stack his quarterback depth chart for Sunday's game against the San Diego Chargers, but Mark Sanchez is expected to be the No. 2 behind Greg McElroy, a source confirmed to ESPNNewYork.com on Friday.

If McElroy, Sanchez and Tim Tebow are all active Sunday, which Ryan said is a possibility, the team wouldn't be required to announce its No. 2 and No. 3 designations.

"As competitors, everyone wants to be out there," said McElroy, who took all of the first-team snaps in Friday's practice. "I know Tim wants to be out there, I know Mark wants to be out there and, of course, I want to be out there as well."

Sanchez, who threw four interceptions in last week's loss to Tennessee that eliminated the Jets from playoff contention, is taking the high road in his demotion. He is preparing just as thoroughly to be a backup.

"Everybody is unhappy," Sanchez said. "We haven't won as many games as we wanted to, we're not playing for the playoffs, but at the same time you have to be a pro and do the right thing. I think that's most important. I'm accountable to these guys."

But as much as Sanchez prepares to stand behind McElroy, he knows he might be traded by the Jets after the season, despite $8.2 million in guaranteed money that he is owed. After all of this, does he want to be with the Jets next season?

"I haven't even thought about it. I'm a Jet. That's all I've known," Sanchez said.

Ryan has declined to address any potential offseason moves, including the fates of Sanchez and Tebow. For now, the three quarterbacks exist in a strange status, as potential front office and coaching changes make it impossible to guess who will remain here next season.

Tebow, for his part, did not speak Friday, as has been his custom all season. He was passed over for McElroy by the coaching staff when Sanchez was benched, which was essentially the icing on a disappointing season for the former Broncos starter.

Sanchez endorsed McElroy, who will be getting his first NFL start. He replaced Sanchez during the game against the Cardinals in Week 13 and led the team to its only score in a 7-6 win. Sanchez has said he has nothing but respect for McElroy and wants to see him succeed Sunday.

"We're close off the field, too," Sanchez said. "I think Greg's a great guy. I think he'll be ready for this challenge. And as disappointing as it is, I'm excited for him, if that makes sense. You never want to relinquish your job and just concede, but at the same time, you want to root for your team. You root for somebody like Greg. So that's what we'll do."

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