Former New York Jets tackle Damien Woody said he agrees with the anonymous Jets sources who were quoted in the New York Daily News Wednesday as saying Mark Sanchez has been "babied" by team management and thinks the team should give some thought to getting a veteran quarterback to push the struggling player.
Woody doesn't exactly call Sanchez another Blue Ivy Carter, but says the first-round quarterback is still a work in progress and needs a competitor to light a fire under him.
"I do think he needs to pick it up, needs to pick up his play. I wouldn't call him lazy, but I do think there are certain things about Mark and the organization that need change," said Woody. "I think the organization does baby him and they definitely need to bring in a viable backup— a viable backup to really provide that competition.
"With competition, either you're gonna rise, or you're gonna just crumble. You bring in a viable backup and let it play out and we'll see which mark Sanchez shows up after that."
Woody— a Jet from 2008-10— joins rookie quarterback Greg McElroy as the only members of the Jets family to criticize the team in public.
While McElroy was criticized for breaking the "locker room code" for speaking out— he's the only active player with enough cojones to put a face with the quote.
Last week, McElroy— in a radio interview— didn't criticize Sanchez personally, but used words like "selfish" and "corrupt mindset" to describe the whole 2011 Jets team.
"It's definitely not a fun place to be. I can assure you," the seventh-round draft pick said. "It's the first time I've been around extremely selfish individuals, and I think that's the nature of the NFL."
Woody was more specific in his assessment of the team by criticizing Sanchez but still thinks the quarterback "deserves one more year to see if this guy can be the future, and, if that doesn't happen, it's time to look in another direction."
The former Jets player thinks the team's front office goes out of its way to protect Sanchez from the swarms of New York media.
"You can see if someone's playing well and someone's not," said Woody. "But the organization really tries to baby him and protect him as far as the media's concerned."
"When you're playing quarterback in New York, you have to have tough skin and be able to stand up to the criticism," said Woody. "When things are going great, you're going to be a god in this city. But when things aren't going well, you have to man up and take it all. I think the organization can do a better job of letting the man be a man and stand up and take the bullets like all the other players."
Woody had some harder words for the "unnamed sources" who attacked Sanchez with their harsh anonymous quotes.
"You're scared to put you're name on it, that's just speaks badly of your character as a player," he said.
As for head coach Rex Ryan claiming he "didn't have the pulse of the team," Woody said he wasn't surprised by any of the locker room dysfunction this season and how Ryan lost control of his players.
"When you've had success, it's great," he said. "But when it's not going well, this is what happens and now you're seeing the ugly side to it."
It looks things are going to get real fugly.