Mark Sanchez is Taking Over as the Leader of the New York Jets


Aug 4, 2012; Cortland, NY, USA; New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) speaks with the media after a scrimmage at SUNY Cortland Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-US PRESSWIRE

The New York Jets have been through a lot in 2012. Starting at the end of the season with the Santonio Holmes situation, through the flirtation with Peyton Manning, the Tim Tebow trade, and through camp and the recent fighting. One thing is for sure, there is never a dull moment with the New York Jets.

However, there is one change that is happening by the minute with the Jets, that doesn’t get the attention that it deserves. That is the change that is happening with Mark Sanchez. It may be happening because Tim Tebow is here, it may not be, but that fact is actually irrelevant. The fact is, that it is happening.

This is not an on field change, although many are saying that is happening as well. The change I am talking about is Mark Sanchez’s becoming a leader. The way he handles himself with his team, and with the media. One thing is becoming abundantly clear: This is Mark Sanchez’s team.

The team had some well publicized fights recently. Not that it doesn’t happen at all camps, but the Jets get more attention for it. It happened. Rex lectured the team and punished them with laps. Who else talked to the team? Mark Sanchez.

When Aaron Maybin made contact with a quarterback when it wasn’t allowed, who had something to say? Mark Sanchez.

This is his football team. Here is what he had to say on Maybin after practice yesterday:

Love the effort, love his intensity, but like we said the other day, you have to compete to the last second and don’t go overboard because you risk hurting a teammate, and the number one rule around here is protect the team, so you have to do that.

Not the comment of a guy that is going to sit in the background.

Here is more from Mark, this time talking about what he said to the team after they ran the penalty laps:

That it doesn’t matter who was fighting, who instigated, who retaliated. It doesn’t matter. Just move on, it’s over, and it shouldn’t happen again. And we’re good. We moved on.

A younger, greener, Mark Sanchez would not take the time to talk to his entire team like that. He would have stayed in the background. These comments are the mark(no pun intended) of a guy that is taking control of the football team. He doesn’t need a “C” on his jersey.

This is his football team.

To summarize, Sanchez was asked about whether or not he would have had trouble making this type of speech in the past. Here is what he said:

You just feel more comfortable, you see what’s going on, you have a better perspective on things. You can take a step back at times and really understand what coach is trying to tell us. Then it’s my job to reiterate that to the team.

Yes it is, Mark Sanchez. Why? Because it is your football team. Kudos to you for stepping up and leading it.