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SANCHEZ: We Have to Protect the Team

Posted Aug 6, 2012

Transcript of quarterback Mark Sanchez's afternoon news conference following the Jets' midday training camp practice Monday at SUNY Cortland:

On what he did to work on ball security in the pocket…

Well, a lot of it came from Coach Cavanaugh and breaking down a lot of film from last year so the most important thing when I am stepping up in the pocket is remembering to keep two hands on it, securing the ball first when you move and then remain a passer until you pass the line of scrimmage so those are some key things that he has really tried to drill into our heads and then we have those exercises and drills during practice, the pre-practice stuff, but he has got those soft baseball bats out there to try and hit the ball out to remind us to keep two hands on it and then those bag drills to keep our feet active in the pocket.

On how he has been able to improve his movement in the pocket…

I think we have really stressed to the offensive linemen in their schemes, whether it is a man scheme or a slide protection, there are going to be windows for me to step up and move and really see the ball downfield and really see where the throws are going downfield, in any offense, really. You've got to understand what protection you have, what way guys are going, and then react to that and have that in the back of your mind while you are making your reads and your throws.

On if the fight at practice is an indicator the team needs to face another opponent…

It is definitely time. You know, after the scrimmage, that's very typical of a camp, guys’ tempers flaring and all of that. You know the most important thing and Coach [Ryan] has really preached it to us, and guys kind of forgot about it today, but we have got to protect the team. There is no throwing the ball at anybody. You always want to set the tempo and compete to the very last second, to the brink, and then never go overboard because that's going to be a penalty and it just looks bad out here. So it's understandable, but that's not an excuse for it so we have got to clean that up.

On going against Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie in practice …

It’s the best. It prepares me very well for the season, and like you said, those will be two of the best that we’ll see all year. It’s such a great preparation.

On Boomer Esiason’s comments about Tim Tebow.…

Boomer was a great player and I respect that he has a right to an opinion. However, we’re well under way here and things are going well. We’re excited about our personnel, everybody including Tim, [Darrelle] Revis and everyone down the list. It’s a good group. It’s on us to play well and handle what we can control. It’s being good teammates, working hard, studying and making this work.

On Stephen Hill

He’s doing a good job stretching the field. He’s fast, long and can really stride. He obviously helps your passing game down the field. It’s nice to see that happen to Stephen, but we have to work on a lot of our intermediate and underneath stuff as well. He has to be sharp with that. He can’t just be a deep threat.

On Jeremy Kerley and his injury…

The most important thing is for him to take care of himself and get back as soon as possible, push it, compete with that injury and get back. Being out, I know he’s doing as many drills as he can, but as soon as he’s back, we have to get as many reps as possible to make up for lost time. I hope he’s studying in this off time, really going over the film, looking at it and understanding how he is going to be able to come in help us [so we can] really continue where we left off before he got hurt.

On how he was involved in the fight…

At this point in camp, especially after the scrimmage, tempers flare. That stuff happens, there’s no excuse for it. There’s no throwing the ball at a teammate, there’s no shoving the guy out of bounds into the signs. One, it doesn’t look good, and two, it sends the wrong message to our team. We want to take care of our guys. I get it, guys are competitive, guys are fiery, that’s nice, but you want to take it to the brink there and compete until the last possible moment and then always remember to protect the team, protect your teammates. So I don’t like to see it, I know guys get testy and that’s the way it goes but we have to control that and make sure we’re not hurting anybody.

On if he said anything to the guys about the fight…

Rex [Ryan] will address it. That’s his call on that kind of stuff, but it’s not helping us, that’s for sure. I don’t see how that makes us any better. Take it to the brink, give your last shove, and act tough to each other and then walk away.

On if he thinks, as a leader, he should say something…

Well, I mean we saw what happened there with Joe [McKnight] at the end or whoever it was that went down. That stuff doesn’t help. If you get too physical out there, you can hurt a guy on your team. We’re playing together. Yes, we’re competing against each other, but we have to play together on Friday, so that doesn’t help.

On if he likes that McKnight has an edge…

No it’s good [sarcastic]. I mean if you throw a ball at someone in a game you’re going to cost us 15 yards so I don’t know if that’s a great habit to get into.

On if that was the most out-of-control fight he’s seen…

Most of the stuff on the outside there were just guys goofing around. So I mean there’s nothing wrong with that, but at the same time, somebody falls and trips into one of those signs, I don’t know, I’m not a fan.

On where he was during the brawl…

Watching from an advantageous position [joking].

On if he and Tebow were under pressure from the pass rush today…

Sure, it went back and forth today, and there were some great conversions on third down, and we could've had a couple more. We just need to be in tune with our identifications up front and stay sharp. Every time we line up, our defense is really troubleshooting our protections, and I’ve said it before, but it takes a while to communicate that stuff and when you miss one part of it, whether it’s a receiver, a quarterback, an offensive lineman or a running back, all hell can break loose and we just have to be sharper.

On the touchdown pass to Hill…

Sure, Steve ran a great route, the rest of the receivers pulled the coverage down and Stephen had a chance down the field. He made a great catch, did a great job tracking the ball. That’s not exactly where it was drawn up for the catch point to be but he did a good job adjusting to the ball.

On if anything stood out from the Green & White video…

You know good pocket moving and stuff, but there are still some things I can clean up. I always have to stress ball security and coming out of there with no turnovers is important. A snap got away from me today so that’s something you have to clean up and that can’t happen. Overall it was great tempo, great pace. I thought we really flew around. The long drive we had, Coach talked to us about it. I think we were 4-for-6 on third down and then I think we were 7-for-10 in the air on that one drive. We got a penalty in our favor. You can see what happens when we convert a couple of third downs. It makes it tough on a defense, and that’s a heck of a defense we’re playing, so that was encouraging. We just need to string a couple of more good plays together.

On if he said anything to McKnight…

We’ll talk. We’ll talk to those guys and when we see it on film is the appropriate time, but you’re not going to really get through to anybody with their anger and everything coming to the surface.

On how concerned he is about Caleb Schlauderaff

He’s got to work and this is one of the best groups he’ll ever face and it’s great practice for him, but at the same time it cannot be an excuse. Our defense is so good, and they use so many good schemes, and they twist and move and stunt so much and we have to be able to block it at some point. So he’s learning and he’s coming along at a good rate and each of these reps gives him a little more confidence and you are starting to see that with him. So it’s good to get that scrimmage under his belt, this practice under his belt, and we’ll get Nick [Mangold] back tomorrow.

On the number of injuries at wide receiver and on the offensive line…

It’s just a good reminder that no matter who’s in there, I have to go through my progression. I have to understand the coverage and put the ball in the right spot and expect those guys to be there, keep these younger guys and newer faces accountable the same way Tone has to be at the right depth, Chaz [Schilens] has to be on the right mark. That stuff is important, so it just forces me to stick to fundamentals, get through your progression and get the ball out of your hand.

On if he believes he has had enough time with the receivers to develop a rhythm and be on the same page…

That’s what these practices are for. These games are only getting closer and we have a serious dress rehearsal coming up here Friday, so we’ll see how ready we are and we’ll see how in tune we are with all these adjustments.

On how the offense was looking…

It’s going well, I think we’re moving along very well. I thought the scrimmage was great. I thought today was great. Just a couple of things when you look on film, there’s one communication error here, or a yard too deep or a yard too short.

On if the errors can be as simple as not remembering because the scheme is new…

Yeah, even if we’re not lined up right. I mean, it takes another second to line up and then you start to communicate the protection. Well now, we’re going to three seconds on the clock and we have to roll, so something gets missed, something gets skipped, and we have to give ourselves a good opportunity. Coach Sparano keeps on preaching, give yourself a chance to swing the bat, release into the batter’s box, entering the batter’s box, swinging with the ball.

On if he can tell other people if they’re wrong and if he’s feeling comfortable with the offense…

I feel good, and that’s the thing, you just have to give yourself a chance and that’s lining up, communicating right, at least putting yourself in a position and then the physical part is the throw, the catch, the run. And that stuff comes naturally to these guys, so you get the mental part down and we’ll move on from there.

On if it is smart to be cautious with Santonio Holmes’ injury…

That’s going to be up to the trainers and how he's feeling. He knows his body best, but we’d love to have him as soon as possible and we’re pushing for him, but we have to keep him healthy, too, for the long haul.

On if it would be difficult if Holmes wasn’t there for Friday’s game…

Either way, we’ll have a couple series or whatever it is, as long as Coach Sparano needs us in there, and we’ll move on from there.

On things he can do to compensate for all of the injuries at wide receiver…

Try and communicate everything you can to those younger guys, be real cool in the huddle, and make sure guys who have heard it before, guys who have heard me talk before, know how fast I speak in the huddle, and how we get really rolling and give ourselves a chance at the line of scrimmage. Then you slow it down a little bit, bringing those guys along, give them a little tag here and there reminding them about stuff after the play, after a series or so. At some point, we have to go full-speed, we can’t baby them.

On if he finds himself spending more time correcting his offensive teammates…

As the comfort level grows with offense, just subtle reminders when you see a script for the next day and you see a specific route, I’ll go, "Hey, don’t forget if you have this route on and they’re running coverage, whatever it is, be ready for this move or be ready for me to throw the ball low and away," whatever the case may be. So as your comfort level grows after each practice, it just comes more and more natural.

Preseason Live: New York Jets

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