Mark Sanchez Talks About Coaching his Young Receivers
By Alan Schechter
Sept. 30, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow (15) and quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) on the sidelines against the San Francisco 49ers during the second half at MetLife Stadium. 49ers won 34-0. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE
The Jets have a lot of guys that will be under the microscope as we move forward in the 2012 season, but none more than the starting quarterback, Mr. Mark Sanchez. With Tim Tebow lurking in the background, all eyes are on Mark’s performance. The chants have begun, and if the poor performances continue, they will only get louder.
Another group that faces tough sledding, and a lot of scrutiny, is Mark’s young receiving corp. Right now, taking injuries into account, Jeremy Kerley is the longest tenured Jet at wide receiver. It’s a very inexperienced group, that needs direction from its quarterback. Mark Sanchez talked about if he can do a better job at coaching those guys:
A little bit. I think more of it’s in the classroom and just being together, studying together. When we get on the field, there’s little reminders and tags here and there. You also can’t be a pacifier to them. You can only do so much because then it takes you away from what you’re doing. I know Coach Sanjay (Lal) will hear me give a tag, ‘Hey don’t forget its third-and-seven, make sure your route is the right depth. Make sure you get all eight yards. Don’t cut it short, don’t shave, do this, do that. Be friendly on this in route.’ They’re good tags and stuff, maybe during training camp, but Sanjay’s pushing me to not say anything because he needs to know when those guys don’t know that. Naturally, I want to tell them and remind them, but at the same time I (have) to trust them just like they trust me. They’re not talking to me in the huddle, “Hey, don’t forget it’s a three-step drop here.” They don’t say stuff like that, so I have to trust them to be in the right spot, and I do. These guys are working hard. It’s on me to keep leading them and give them the best opportunity they can to catch and run.
What does Mark expect from the wide receivers?
The important thing is just to be in the right spot at the right time, whatever it says on the piece of paper. If it’s 15 yards, it means 15, and whether you’re press, whether the guy’s off, it’s first-and-ten, third-and-ten. You have to be in the right spot. After that, catch the ball. Coach (Tony) Sparano always says catching the ball is 33 percent of your job. The rest is blocking and running after the catch. They have a lot on their plate too. We’ve set a high standard for those guys and they’ll meet it.
Sept. 30, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) throws to wide receiver Santonio Holmes (10) during the first quarter against the San Francisco 49ers at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE
Mark also talked about performing without the number one receiver:
There’s just no time to waste thinking about, ‘Aww, that’s just too bad and I really wish we could, or what if. I don’t have time. There’s really no time in the week to think about it, so I just don’t. I think about the guys we have. I go over the film with those guys. We talk as much as we can, getting new guys in with (Jason) Hill, the new Hill. It’s a constant effort and a constant process of getting guys ready to play. If somebody goes down, next man up.
There’s a lot of pressure on Mark these days, for obvious reasons. How is he handling it?
I think it’s just another opportunity. Nobody expects it to work. Nobody expects it to go right. Nobody expects us to win, and that’s fine. I’ve been in situations like that before. I’m confident I can handle it, and there’s only one way in my mind to go about it, and that’s really attack it. Get after it, give it 100 percent and (we) never want to look back and say ‘Man, I wish I would have done that. (We) just leave it all out there and continue to give our best effort and be as sharp as possible.
Does the team have a good set of leaders?
There’s plenty of guys, and to be honest, there’s not a ton of vocal guys. A lot of guys just work by example, and that’s fine too. There’s a lot of guys like Y.B. (Yeremiah Bell), Calvin Pace, who just come in early. They’re here early in the morning. They’re taking care of their body. They’re studying extra film. They stay late. They’re in there getting extra workouts, lifting, keeping their body in shape. Guys know they’re not doing this just for fun, it’s serious to them. Those are the kind of leaders we need too. When somebody has to step up and say something sometimes it’s me, sometimes its Mangold or Brandon Moore, whoever it needs to be. I think we have a good group and great chemistry in here, so we know how to win. We’ve won here, so we’ll just keep doing it.
You have to wonder if Mark’s confidence is just him putting on a good face for the media sometimes. I mean, he can’t sound like he is worried, or the mainstream media will never leave him alone. But he can’t feel great going into this game. If he does, than his confidence during the week is just not translating onto the field.
And it needs to, and fast.