Rex Ryan has seen enough of Mark Sanchez.
The New York Jets coach made the dramatic but expected decision Tuesday, benching the only starting quarterback he's had in four years. Ryan will give Greg McElroy his first career start Sunday at home against the San Diego Chargers.
Ryan, in a conference call with reporters, declined to get into his specific reasons for naming McElroy over Tebow.
"I can answer this question a million ways -- frontward, backward, sideways, anything else. It's my decision and I based it on a gut feeling or whatever. Everything it comes down to is, I believe it's the best decision for our team. That's the only factor that goes into these decisions."
Ryan said he broke the news to Sanchez on Monday night after the game, but he didn't decide the replacement until Tuesday. Ryan didn't say which player would be the No. 2 quarterback, adding that he will evaluate it as the week goes on.
The decision is a stunning blow to Tim Tebow, the No. 2 quarterback. The organization is concerned about the potential fallout from passing over one of the most popular players in the league, and Ryan may try to find a way to incorporate Tebow into the game plan, a source said.
Sanchez, who survived a job scare three weeks ago when he was pulled from a game, imploded in Monday night's 14-10 loss to the Tennessee Titans. He threw four interceptions and lost a fumble, tying a career high for turnovers as the Jets (6-8) were mathematically eliminated from playoff contention.
Sanchez has a league-high 24 turnovers, including 17 interceptions. His two-year turnover total is a staggering 50.
It's unclear how the benching will affect Sanchez's future with the team. In March, he signed a contract extension through 2016, and is due an $8.25 million guarantee in 2013. It means he probably will be back in 2013, although it's hard to imagine him in a starting role.
McElroy, a seventh-round pick last year out of Alabama, helped lead the Jets to a 7-6 win over Arizona on Dec. 2 when Ryan pulled Sanchez from that game late in the third quarter. Ryan decided to stick with Sanchez after that game, saying that the one-time face of the franchise gave the Jets their best chance at winning as they remained in the playoff hunt.
But Sanchez struggled in a 17-10 win over Jacksonville and again even more in the loss to Tennessee. McElroy, who gave the Jets a huge spark in his first NFL action, was inactive for both games. That hurt New York Monday night when Ryan was unable to turn to McElroy, but instead went to Tebow for one unproductive series before putting Sanchez back in.
Tebow, acquired from Denver in March, has had a minor role in the offense after being expected to play a major part. He is recovering from two broken ribs that sidelined him for three games, but he returned Monday night and had little impact.--Courtesy of ESPN