Seahawks' Carroll stands by opinion Jets' Sanchez should've stayed at USC

Happier times for Sanchez and Carroll from Nov. 2008. (Getty Images)

It's been 3 1/2 years since the Jets traded up in the first round to draft Mark Sanchez, the former USC star who has yet to live up to the franchise qurterback billing. It's not entirely his fault (these things rarely are), but he can't say he wasn't warned about leaving school after his junior year to declare for the draft.

In January 2009, minutes after Sanchez made his official announcement, then-Southern Cal coach Pete Carroll told the media, "We don't see this decision the same. ... Mark is going against the grain on this decision. He knows that. He knows that coming out early is a tremendous challenge for a quarterback. And the statistics don't back up that it's easy to be successful the way he's going about it. We know that, he knows that. ... I don't agree with the assessment of the decision."

"I've had great counsel. Family, former Trojans, Matt Cassel, John David Booty, Matt Leinart, Carson Palmer -- they've all been very instrumental in this decision." - Mark Sanchez, January 2009.

Carroll now coaches the Seahawks. Incidentally, they host the Jets on Sunday and Carroll feels the same today as he did in January '09.

“I told Mark exactly what I would have told my son. Exactly,” Carroll said, according to The Seattle Times. “I just told him what I knew was the truth. He could have been better prepared if we’d have had him for another year. And I think it would have served him even better.”

At the time, Carroll came off as a self-serving college coach interested only in his program. Which is sorta what Jets coach Rex Ryan alluded to Wednesday, when he was asked about the Sanchez-Carroll dynamic.

“I did not blame Pete Carroll one bit because if I had that young man as my quarterback, I’d say whatever it took to get the guy to stay with me,” Ryan said via the New York Daily News. “Deep down, he knew he was ready. This guy has a ton of ability. You don’t want to lose a player of this caliber, especially one at that position. It’s hard to find these quarterbacks.”

Turns out, Carroll was onto something. Sanchez has been a mediocre NFL quarterback, and his productivity hasn't come close to matching his draft status. But who knows, maybe this is the week that all changes.

Whatever. Sanchez wouldn't do anything differently.

"I felt it was the right decision no matter what, no matter what anybody said," he said Wednesday. "When you make a decision like that, there’s no turning back. ... He wasn’t the only one saying don’t go. There were plenty of people, my parents included. That’s just the way it is. It didn’t really affect me.”

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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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