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Sanchez Monday Interview

Posted Aug 2, 2010

Transcript of Jets QB Mark Sanchez's remarks with reporters following Monday's morning training camp practice at SUNY Cortland:

On being the undisputed starting quarterback entering training camp…

It’s comforting and it helps your confidence because you feel like you don’t have to look over your shoulder. You’re always competing, but now you’re never looking over your shoulder. You know that when you don’t have your best practice, you’re competing against yourself and that’s sometimes the best for me. The team knows who their starter is and who their leader is and it’s my job to take on that role and own that. It’s about making a big jump this year and knowing that it’s my job, and this team goes as we all go, but it’s the quarterback’s job to lead them. It’s my turn to step up.

On the new weapons on the Jets roster this season…

I feel so much more comfortable with Braylon [Edwards]. It’s tough to bring in a player mid-season like that last year, as I learned. It’s hard. He was coming from a different system. Now he has our terminology down and he’s correcting other guys, coaching up other guys. And then you bring in veterans. I already talked about Mark Brunell, LT [LaDanian Tomlinson], and Jason Taylor for the defensive guys. [They have] so much experience and so much knowledge, so much of an ability to help and bring on the young guys, myself included. It really is a joy to have them. I know my mentality towards them and attitude towards them is just to bother them. To get next to them until Brunell tells me to leave him alone. I’m trying to learn from him and soak up all the experiences he had and maybe I won’t have to hit some of the same pitfalls and throw all the interceptions. Maybe I’ll learn from him and be a lot better because of it.

On how it feels to be back in Cortland…

It’s nice. We couldn’t ask for better weather. The facilities are unbelievable. They look so nice. Last year was a trial run, so things weren’t perfect, but this year is pretty close to that. We are thrilled to be back. They treat us so well up here and we’ll see the fans during the second practice, so we’ll see how that goes.

On getting the first practice out of the way…

It’s nice. Brunell’s funny. He said right afterward, “All right, one down. It’s all downhill from here” [chuckle]. I kind of looked at him and thought, “Yeah, he’s right.” It’s nice. It’s also frustrating because you want to hit all those passes. The first time [I threw] a ball in pads, it felt good coming out and I launched it over Dustin [Keller]'s head. I was like, “Man, that was ugly.” We’ll watch the film, correct it, and get ready to go and settle in.

On being more comfortable and being more of a leader…

It’s nice when you’re not scrambling as you’re going up to the line in your head and trying to figure out the formation, the call, the protection. You say it in the huddle and you know it right there and you’re just starting to focus on the defense now. It’s so much easier. You get a chance to really connect with guys, you get a chance to critique their routes and talk to them about things and really start to be a leader and own this offense, and master this system. I feel like I’m making my way into doing that and it will show this camp and this season.

On if Brunell said that...

Oh, not a chance [chuckling].

On driving up to Cortland with Brunell so he can pick Brunell’s mind…

We talked some football, we talked life. He’s been around a lot longer than me so he has a lot more experience that way. He was great. It sounds like he has a great family, I can’t wait to meet them. He’s so supportive. Even in your first day when you throw bad balls, he says, “C’mon, you’re better than that.” He’s great to have around so far. Maybe he’ll get on my nerves sooner or later…no, I’m just kidding [chuckling].

On if Brunell has any football left in him…

He’s spinning the heck out of it. I think he looks pretty good still.

On feeding off the high expectations for this team…

I think that’s our own expectations. That’s why we feed off of it. It’s our own mentality. That Super Bowl champion mentality. That’s what we want and that’s what we’re striving for. We really feed off of Rex [Ryan]. He makes us feel like we’re all ready to be Super Bowl champions. Now, we need to do it every day and prove it. It’s high team morale and excitement and we’re thrilled about this opportunity. It’s going to be another great year for us.

On if he feels more comfortable entering his second training camp…

Absolutely. Just kicking things off again, shaking the rust off. I think that’s the most important part of this practice. When we get our timing down, I’ll put a couple of those throws on guys a little more accurately. We’ll have a chance during the second practice.

On if having a veteran presence on the sideline in Brunell will help him during the game…

It definitely can’t hurt. Kellen [Clemens] helped out quite a bit last year because he had done more than me to a point. Just learning from his experiences is enlightening and now to have Brunell here, I can learn even more. It’s two more guys being able to talk to me and calm me down when I get real excited, or they’ll pick me up when I’m not having my best practice. They teach you how to do it because when you’re playing, you have to do it on your own. Those are the things I’ll remember, those tag words, tag lines that Brunell says, that Clemens says, to pick it up and you’ve got it.

On if one of the reasons the team brought in Brunell is because he has such a low number of career interceptions…

I was tied with him last year [smiling]. He’s pretty good and smart and patient. He just has a peaceful calm to him. Somebody was talking about different types of leaders and said there’s the thermostat and the thermometer. He’s the thermostat. You set it at the temperature you want and he’s that. He’s got it. He’s not the thermometer. He’s calm. He’s cool. It’s good to learn from him and feed off of him because as a young player you’re always energized and ready to go. Sometimes you find yourself on this emotional rollercoaster when you just need to relax and let go. He’s got that, so it’s good to learn from him.

On what type of leader he is…

I’m working on being that thermostat [laughing].

On Brunell saying he was driving fast on the way up to Cortland…

[Laughing] I don’t know about that. I don’t know where that came from. He’s probably messing with me.

On how the first day was…

It was just shaking the rust off. That was the only setback really. [Practice] had a great tempo [and] great energy. Guys are excited and it’s going to be a fun year for us. We’re thrilled about this.

On what difference he is seeing in the offense this year…

It’s so much more comfortable. We’re ripping through plays in the huddle like they’re second nature now and speaking the language with Schotty and talking through defensive coverages and fronts instead of last year’s, “What’s that called when the WILL does that? Why does Jim Leonhard do that?” Now, I’m speaking it to him. I’m talking to him. It’s so much more fluid and comfortable and that’s a part of the sophomore year, really growing up and taking a big jump.

On his goals for the season…

I’m trying to master the offense. One of our personal goals in the quarterback room is for me to grab skirt and own this team. [I need to] just be the leader and be the guy for this franchise and organization. It’s part of being a quarterback. This is part of sophomore year and making the jump. Last year, you kind of field through things, but this year, it’s your chance and you’ve got to get going.

On if he feels pressure because of all the expectations of this team…

Not at all. Not with the kind of team we have and the kind of talent we have around me. At the end of the day, the most important thing to think about is how many playmakers we have, wanting to be decisive and just getting rid of the ball. Just get it out your hands, make the best play possible and let those guys do the rest. It makes the job sound easy and it’s a lot more complicated than that, but sometimes that’s the way you have to think about it.

On what he learned from working with Rich Gannon…

He’s the best. [We] talked about preparation and organizing your quarterback world of what is most important to you, what your goals are, writing them down, reading and visualizing them every day, and then going through your routine. [You need to] establish a routine and be a creature of habit and not changing. Five touchdowns, five interceptions did not change. He knew and established that routine. He gave me a pretty good plan on where to start for this year. He’s someone I’ll talk to during camp and the season. It was so nice for him to come out here and talk about being a leader and really stepping up for this team.

On if his knee will be an issue at all during camp…

No. Our schedule is set up for all of us to play well at our optimal level. My knee feels good.

On if his last hurdle is getting hit in a preseason game…

I guess so. I probably won’t be hit in camp. Who knows? We do have Bart [Scott], so he might mess around with me.

On if he is fully participating in practice…

Yeah, I think so. I’m full participation.

On if they stayed in a log cabin for his Jets West passing camp…

No [laughing]. I’ve gotten a lot of heat for these shirts. I think they secretly like them. Pretty much everybody but our teammates liked them [laughter]. I’m just giving you a hard time. I thought it was funny.

On who designed them…

Come on.

On why there is a log cabin on them…

It’s like sleep-away camp.

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