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SANCHEZ: I've Been in Those Shoes

Posted Nov 14, 2012

Transcript of quarterback Mark Sanchez's news conference in front of his locker after the Jets' Wednesday afternoon practice at the Atlantic Health Training Center:

On his reaction to the story on Tim Tebow

We talked about it as a team and that’s really all I’ll say about it. That’s too bad, I didn’t see that one coming. Tim’s been great. He’s a great football player, that’s why we brought him here to try to help us. So he’s doing everything he can.

On if he’s surprised the situation is recurring after last year’s problems…

A little bit but at the same time, it’s a different group that we have so I’m really not worried about it. I think guys if anything are closer because of stuff like that. We just don’t do that. That’s not a professional thing to do I don’t think, so it’s not our deal.

On Coach Ryan’s message to the team…

I’ll just keep it between the team. That’s for us. That’s all I’ll say about it.

On if the negative comments on Tebow were teammates sticking up for him…

I don’t think it’s like a backhanded compliment or anything like that. Guys know that I’m working hard, trying to fix my mistakes and that we’re all in this thing together. Guys are taking responsibility and now we just need to fix our mistakes and it’s not one person, one thing, it's multiple things that have kind of built up and really hurt us as a team. Tim’s doing his best. Every time he gets in there he runs hard, he practices hard. We just have to keep improving, try to get a win. Then this whole thing can turn so quickly, so that’s what we’re hoping for.

On the impact the story had on the team…

It really didn’t affect many guys. Of course, Tim, I can tell you I’ve been in those shoes. So if anybody knows what it feels like, it’s me. He’s mentally tough enough to handle that, I know it. He’s a grownup, he’s a young man, he’s smart, he’s strong, mentally and physically, and it really won’t bother him. That’s all you do in that situation is keep working hard, keep trusting the guys around you, keep playing

On if he’s talked to Tebow about the story…

Not too much, we haven’t really had the opportunity yet because we’ve just been kind of going all day, and installing and stuff. But he knows, he knows I’m here. We have film tonight and stuff with the players.

On if he will speak to Tebow about the story…

Yeah, we’re together all day long. When the time is right, if he wants to. I don’t want to bug him about it. If he doesn’t want to talk about it, he doesn’t want to talk about it. It’s just not a professional thing.

On winning on Sunday…

Just get a win. Get a win. The margin for error is so small in this league, and losing, just like winning, is contagious and they can turn so quickly. Seeing it happen my rookie year, we’ve been in 2010, we were on a team that just couldn’t lose at certain times. We won four games on the last play of the game in a row. Those kind of things happen, just like losing games in a row happen, dropping the last three or whatever it is. I have faith that these guys can turn it around and we just have to keep fighting and don’t question your preparation. If you have something that you know it’s going to help us work, don’t stop watching film, watch more. Don’t stop throwing routes after practice, do more. It’ll turn.

On the Rams defense…

They’re strong, they’re fast, they’re just a nasty group. They hit hard, all over the field, their front seven is crazy, their back end is good, so it’s going to be a tough challenge for us. Really fast flow defense. They’re good, really good.

On how the story about Tebow can bring the team together…

I just think guys in here are mentally tough enough to handle something like that. We respect each other in here and it’s not really this team’s style, I don’t think. Not the guys in here. We’ll be fine.

On if he thought the comments in the story were supporting him or criticizing Tebow…

I don’t know either way. Guys know that I’m the starter, that’s nothing new. The team has said that, other players have said that. But at the same time you don’t have to go overboard and blast a guy. He works his butt off so just be supportive of all of us. That’s the coaching point, really.

On if he needed affirmation…

No. I don’t even think like that. There’s no time. My time’s spent studying for the next game and preparing and being positive.

On Coach Ryan’s comments that the story could bring the team closer…

Why not? I think guys were great about it today. Guys feel good about our chances this week, feel good about the rest of the season, and just trying to stay positive.

On if he talked to Tebow about it today…

It didn’t come up really today. But obviously, if he wanted to talk about it, I’m more than happy to talk about it. I told somebody earlier, I’ve been in those shoes so I know, I get it.

On if the story makes it hard for others to believe the team is sticking together…

I don’t think it affects our guys. I feel for Tim, that stinks, it just stinks. I don’t know, it can’t feel good. But at the same time, I’ve been there. You just wake up the next day and keep playing and stay positive and smile and have fun and know you’re playing a game and have a good time with it. Just focus on the positive stuff and try to stay above it.

On if it’s unsettling knowing that the comments came from teammates…

Really, just there’s no time to worry about that. Just studying for this next game, trying to do everything I possibly can to help us win.

On what he means when he says he’s been in Tebow’s shoes…

You hear about it and nobody put their name on it. I said it was a cowardly thing last year. I said I don’t think its professional. My feelings really haven’t changed on it, whether it’s me or anybody else. It’s just not cool.

On if he’s disappointed that the message from last year didn’t get through to the team…

I don’t know. Coach gave us a good talk about it today and I think guys responded well. I don’t think it’s as divisive as people think. I don’t want to speak for Tim and say he’s cool with it and it feels good. That’s not the case, I’m sure. But at the same time, it’s not like everybody just walked out to practice today and threw their stuff down and walked out. Everybody’s still preparing to play. It’s not as big as I think people make it out to be.

On the talk about the team being 3-6 and the story on Tebow…

That’s part of the deal. How tough are you going to be through it? Are you going to give in to that and let that really affect what we’re doing or are you just going to let it go?

On if this group is tough enough to get through it…

I think so. The guys I’ve been around and talked about it with, they’re like, “Yeah, not cool. Wasn’t me, wasn’t me.” All right, well, Tim feel better because it stinks, I’ve been there. Just move on.

On the media talking about him possibly not being a starter last week and this week the focus is on comments surrounding Tebow…

It’s amazing. I don’t know.

On if he’s surprised with the shift in the media this week…

You just have to go win a darned game. That’s it. Just go win a darned game. This whole thing turns. I’m telling you, it’s contagious, this kind of stuff. You win a game, you remember what it’s like, you feel good about a game, you really feel good about your prep. Go and have some fun, smile, complete some passes and move on.

On if the team being open with the media contributes to stories like the one surrounding Tebow…

I don’t know, that’s for you guys to debate. My opinion doesn’t matter and Coach’s opinion is most important, it’s his team, it’s his media policy so I follow it. "Two players and a coach" and build guys up, so it’s what we do.

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