Jets' Quarterback Mark Sanchez has spent much of this season sacked, intercepted, or worse. (AP/Wade Payne)

New York Jets’ QB Mark Sanchez spent much of this season sacked, intercepted or worse. (Wade Payne/AP)

After a difficult season in which his play inspired new vocabulary term (butt-fumble), Jets’ quarterback Mark Sanchez has finally been benched in favor of the team’s third-string QB, Greg McIlroy. Why did McIlroy get the call over the team’s No. 2?

Judy Battista of the New York Times isn’t exactly sure. “The backup quarterback all year has been Tim Tebow,” Battista told Bill Littlefield.  But, coach Rex Ryan’s decision to elevate McIlroy “suggests they don’t really have a clear plan for this position right now.”

Both Sanchez and Tebow are rumored to be on the trading block. Sanchez is owed $8.25 million in guarantees next year, but some say getting rid of him might be worth the financial hit. “He’s getting worse and he seems to be struggling even with basic decision-making things that in the fourth year of his career he shouldn’t be struggling with,” Battista said. “Having said that, he had very little talent around him on the offense.”

The name of the starting quarterback isn’t the only thing that needs to change in New York. Battista calls Rex Ryan a “really good defensive coach,” but says he’ll need a new offensive plan if he wants to rediscover his success. “He’s going to have to change his philosophy.”

That, plus improvements at quarterback, new offensive playmakers and a younger defensive line might give the Jets a chance next season.  “They need a lot,” Battista admitted, but she doesn’t think the Jets need a new head coach. “I don’t think you give Rex a contract extension,” she said.  “But I think you probably give him another year and give him a quarterback and see what he can do.”