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SANCHEZ: Last 5 Are Important for All of Us

Posted Nov 28, 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 if they treated the period following the Patriots game differently than normal…

We treated it just like any other game, any win or loss. You hang onto it for 24 hours, then after that, you just move on. Thankfully, it was a weekend we could get a chance to see our families, relax a little bit and get ready for this five-game stretch. I think we’re mentally prepared for it. Physically, we had a good little break. We treat it like any other game.

On if Arizona’s record is not indicative of the how good they are…

Absolutely, their record isn’t indicative of the way they play, their effort and how talented they are, so it’s going to be a good challenge for us. We’re happy to get them at home and to see what we can do. We know it’s a great defense, a lot of playmakers.

On the team’s outlook…

Guys are excited just knowing these next five games are crucial to our success and crucial to making the postseason. I think we have the right mindset, just take it one at a time, really focus on ourselves and avoid beating ourselves like we have in the past.

On what needs to be emphasized to get back on track…

I think some of the most important things are just taking care of the football and eliminating some of the self-inflicted penalties and turnovers that we’ve had. If we do that, we kind of get out of our own way. We seem to play better. That’s really where our focus is at.

On how to stop beating yourself…

Just keep it in the forefront of your mind, keep studying it, keep understanding what happened, why it happened, try to get to the bottom of it, keep pushing and keep staying positive.

On the the number of wide receivers he has had to play with this year…

It’s nothing to dwell on or make an excuse about. That’s just the way things have gone this year and it’s my job to get whoever is in those wide receiver spots ready to play and get as comfortable as I can with them each week. There’s no time to get upset about it, you just keep moving, keep pushing forward and keep playing.

On the turnovers against New England…

A couple of the turnovers ended up being catastrophic because they ended up getting points off them. I was just trying to do the right thing and I ended up running into Brandon Moore. Sometimes that just happens. There’s no excuse for it. Try not to let it happen again. The other one, I thought [Steve] Gregory made a good play, baited me into it and caught me on the interception in the red zone. Before that, going back to Seattle, just taking care of the ball down on the goal line was one of the turnovers. Just make really good decisions, try to avoid physical mistakes and just take care of the football.

On running into Brandon Moore…

It’s the way it goes and it will probably be on a blooper reel for a while. That’s just part of playing. You play long enough and eventually a couple plays like that will happen. Just try to avoid them and move on.

On knowing when to try to make big plays…

That just comes from playing and understanding that the ball is most important. At all costs, protect it, and when the opportunities come to make plays, you just let them happen and try not to force them. It’s a thin line. We just have to keep on the right side of it.

On if there is reason more of his turnovers have occurred in the red zone…

Not exactly. They can’t happen and I just have to do a better job of protecting the football.

On getting past the Patriots game…

Last week, we’ve had more time than ever to let that one go. That’s over and done with. We came in here, had a great practice on Monday, had another good one today. We have two more chances to really practice well and get ready for Sunday. Last week is over and done.

On how important the final five games are for him…

It’s important for all us. Being the quarterback of a team, there’s always more pressure and attention at that position, so I don’t treat it differently than anything else. We just need to win some games here. We’ve done it in the past, so hopefully we’ll do it again.

On the final five games…

Do I think we can win five games? Of course, that’s how optimistic I am. That’s how everybody thinks in here. But the key to winning five is just winning the first one and letting the rest take care of itself, do everything we possibly can for this week, go out and attack it, leave it all out on the field and do it all over again.

On preparing for Arizona’s passing defense…

It’s just being sharp and efficient in our passing game and ensuring that the routes are specific depths, the ball is coming out at the right time and that I’m delivering the ball to the right guy accurately. As always, when we’re not playing catch-up, when we jump out or it’s an even game all the way through, we’ve had success running the ball and using our play-action stuff and doing some of our dropback stuff. When we've a chance to use everything and really empty the playbook and empty the callsheet in a game, we’ve been successful. When you’re playing catch-up like last week, it makes it tough to run the football. Hopefully we can stay balanced.

On if the coaches are supportive…

I mean, they coach, they try and correct mistakes. It’s just a matter of working at it. They know I’m working my butt off and trying to eliminate turnovers. Sometimes it happens and it’s my job to try and fix that and completely eliminate them. Especially in these next five games, that’s going to be critical. They emphasize it quite a bit. Coach Cavanaugh and Rex Ryan, Coach Sparano, everybody is here all night, studying and preparing for us. I know how important it is to them and how important it is to me. They understand that as well, so they’re coaching hard and doing their very best.

On what makes him believe he can eliminate turnovers…

I don’t know, I mean, just do my best. We’ll see how these next five games go.

On if he was trying to slide when he fumbled the ball…

Yeah, I was trying to slide. I don’t know, that’s a wild one.

On if he received any comments from his friends about the fumble…

No, not really. Everybody has been pretty cool.

On how important it is to get the fans on his side…

You go into the game and you expect to win. You prepare to win and be successful. We know that the fans get excited when you’re successful. If we’re focusing on the right stuff, then we’re focusing on playing well and stuff will fall into place. That’s with the fans as well.

On Fireman Ed wearing his jersey…

He’s been really supportive. Obviously, I appreciate that. He’s been around a long time, he’s seen the ups and downs of our team and obviously if his safety is in jeopardy here then maybe it’s a good move. But he’s been a very supportive guy so he seems like a good guy to me.

On how much responsibility he takes on turning the rest of the season around...

It’s an everyday thing. I don’t think it changes just because we need to win a couple of games here in a short period of time. It’s just the nature of the position. The most important thing in these next five games, as important as they are, don’t change and try and do something crazy and make something up and try and be somebody you’re not, just keep leading this team and do the very best I can.

On his blooper being replayed constantly…

That’s a part of it. Hopefully we’ll laugh about it later.

On if teammates have joked with him about it…

We talked about it with some of the guys, so it’s been fine. Everybody’s been pretty cool about it.

On if it was painful to watch…

It’s embarrassing because that’s one you screw up the play and I’m trying to do the right thing. It's not like I’m trying to force something and I start to slide and I slide right in the worst spot I possibly could, right into Brandon Moore.

On the funniest thing he saw about his blooper…

I saw the cartoon. That was pretty good. The cartoon was good.

On what was in the cartoon…

It has my head stuck in Brandon and it was a chalk line [laughter].

On if he was hurt after running into Moore…

No, I wasn’t hurt. I guess more stunned than anything. Just like a car accident, I was like, "Woah, what just happened?" Then the ball was gone. It was weird.

On if it was easy to feel defeated after the second quarter Thursday night…

I don’t know about that. We ended up moving the ball well. It’s just overshadowed by three turnovers in 50 seconds or whatever it is and 21 points. It’s hard to say, "Hey, we did a great job." But it’s on film, a lot of positive plays. It’s just really too bad that in that one quarter there were so many mistakes. Not just mistakes, players make plays like that and the ball slips out of the quarterback's hand and somebody intercepts it or whatever. But when they don’t get points from them, it gets kind of swept under the rug or you end up winning the game and nobody cares. So just the way they happened and points after really hurt.

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