The Washington Redskins signed journeyman QB Mark Sanchez to back up Colt McCoy, the former number two who became the starter after Alex Smith was lost for the season with a broken fibula and broken tibia.
Sanchez was presumably chosen over other uninspiring candidates because of his ties to various members of the Redskins offensive coaching staff. Offensive Coordinator Matt Cavanaugh was the Jets QB coach from 2009-2012 when Sanchez was the starting QB of the New York Jets. In addition, Redskins offensive line coach and assistant head coach Bill Callahan held the same title with the Jets for three years during Sanchez’s time in New York. Finally, Kevin O’Connell, Washington’s passing game coordinator, was a backup on those Jets teams in 2009-10.
“We had a workout today; looked pretty good,” said Head Coach Jay Gruden at Redskins Park today. “But based on his past experiences with Coach O’Connell and Cavanaugh; he’s won some playoff games, he’s got a lot of experience. I think this time of the year, you need somebody who’s taken some meaningful snaps, a lot of experience; and Mark’s done that.”
Sanchez was chosen over other NFL flotsam and jetsam, such as EJ Manuel, TJ Yates, Kellen Clemens, and Josh Johnson.
Sanchez was the fifth overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft after the NY Jets traded up to take him. Sanchez has started 72 regular season games and six playoff games, throwing for 86 touchdowns and 86 interceptions during his career. His career QBR is 40.2 and his passer rating is 73.9, both less than mediocre.
Sanchez played in two AFC Championship games with the Jets, losing both.
Interestingly, six years ago, Sanchez, playing on Thanksgiving Day (November 22, 2012), bumped into an offensive lineman and lost the ball — the infamous “Butt Fumble” that forever made Sanchez the butt of a million bad jokes. Six years later to the very day, Sanchez will be wearing burgundy and gold on Thanksgiving Day.
Sanchez has spent time with the Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, and, in 2017, with the Chicago Bears.
The Redskins have been one of the NFL’s best teams at taking care of the ball this season, with only nine turnovers. In 2011-12 — his last two seasons as New York’s starter — Sanchez threw a combined 36 interceptions and fumbled 16 times. One of those turnovers became known as the “Butt Fumble,” a play in which Sanchez lost the ball when he slammed into a lineman’s backside. That occurred during a Thanksgiving Day game versus the New England Patriots on Nov. 22, 2012; six years later to the day, he’ll suit up for Washington for the first time when the Redskins play at Dallas.