Mike Holmgren thinks Mark Sanchez will 'have a fine year' in 2013

Mark Sanchez (left) has the full support of former NFL coach Mike Holmgren. (USATSI)
Mike Holmgren won a Super Bowl with Brett Favre, appeared in another Super Bowl with Matt Hasselbeck, and was one of the NFL's most successful coaches during his 17 years with the Packers and Seahawks. He also knows something about quarterbacks, which is why his comments about Mark Sanchez are noteworthy.

When training camp starts in three weeks, Sanchez, who has come to symbolize all that is wrong with the Jets, will try to fend off rookie Geno Smith for the starting job. In the last two seasons, the former first-round pick out of USC has completed 55.6 percent of his passes with 39 touchdowns, 36 interceptions and 24 fumbles -- including one that could come to define his career.

Holmgren, meanwhile, sounds unconcerned about Sanchez's progress as an NFL quarterback.

“I think actually he’s going to have a fine year,” he said during a recent appearance on 950 KJR-AM in Seattle (via PFT).

There aren't many people who share Holmgren's opinion, but he does have some inside knowledge. New Jets offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinwheg played quarterback for Holmgren in high school, and Holmgren had Mornhinwheg on his staff with the Packers. Holmgren also scouted Sanchez when he was coming out of USC in 2009 and was impressed with what he saw.

“I just liked his mechanics coming out of college. I really liked his mechanics,” Holmgren said. “He would be one of those guys -- I know he’s taken a lot of flak and a lot of heat -- but he would have been one of those guys if I was still coaching I would really like to coach. … [Last year] was like the perfect storm. I just think he’s a better player than that."

Sanchez is set to make $8.25 million in 2013, so the Jets are stuck with him for one more season. Beyond that, though, it's reasonable to think that he'll play out his NFL days as a backup somewhere other than New York. And if that doesn't pan out, there's always the lucrative world of homemade, half-naked workout dance videos.

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CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

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