Dec. 30, 2012; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) throws the ball during the first half against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

New York Jets' Mark Sanchez Ready to Keep Job, No Words for Steve Smith

Whether fans want to admit it or not, the retirement of David Garrard means a big change in the quarterback race. Specifically, it means that Mark Sanchez vaults back in front of that race. A lot of fans will not want to hear this, but you could make the argument that this is once again Mark’s job to lose. Whether he loses it or not, Mark is clearly hungry to keep it:

“This is something I’ve dreamed about all my life and I don’t plan on letting it go,” he said.

No matter who, or how many, are involved in the competition, Mark Sanchez’s focus remains the same:

“Nothing’s changed,” Sanchez said. “My mindset’s the same. Just stay focused, master this offense, improve on my fundamentals and be as accurate as possible, take care of the football and lead this team.”

Teammates believe that Mark can get the job done, but he has to become that confident player he was in 2009-2010. He is working on the interception issue with offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, calling them a “bad childhood habit”, and that at some point he has to “stop biting his nails”.

Early yesterday, Steve Smith of the Carolina Panthers had some choice words for the Jets beleaguered quarterback. They have never played together, but Smith took it upon himself to say that Sanchez “sucked”, and wouldn’t let him throw him a paper bag sandwich. To his credit, Mark responded appropriately:

“I have no idea, you’d have to ask him that,” Sanchez said. “I wish him and his team a healthy and successful season.”

It’s good to see that Mark is not getting flustered or annoyed by comments like the one Smith made. There is no reason to add fuel to the fire in situations like that.

I like that he is pumped up to keep his job. Maybe that fire will finally lift his play to competent status again. I am not sure about likening interceptions to biting his nails. The concept is good, breaking the habit, but it’s a bit more complex than biting nails. Hopefully Mark is not making it so easy in his own head, or he may have a problem.

We will find out soon enough.

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