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Sanchez's Wednesday News Conference

Posted Jun 13, 2012

Transcript of quarterback Mark Sanchez's news conference at his locker following Wednesday's midday full-squad minicamp practice at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center:

On if they are picking up the new offense quickly…

Sure. I think we’re moving at a pretty good pace. I think the energy is high. That’s really important. I know Coach [Tony] Sparano preaches that. As far as learning the offense, it takes time, but guys are really studying on their own and really taking to the details of this offense. It’s been a great experience so far and we just have to keep pushing each other.

On the team’s understanding of the offense…

We’re moving along at a good pace. We’re functioning. Is it exactly where we want it? No, but it’s a good thing we don’t have to play a game right this second and that’s what these practices are for. To date, I think we’re really moving along at a good pace.

On Coach Ryan singling him out as a player that is quickly picking up the offense…

He just wants to make sure that I’m setting a good example as the quarterback of the team, but it’s really because he singles guys out for doing what they’re supposed to be doing, but also when they’re not doing what they’re supposed to. It’s important to me, not just to impress Rex, but really compete against myself, the outcome of last season and any kind of negative feelings we have moving on from last year to understand why we didn’t play as well as we did and how we can fix it. Now, it’s our chance to do it. I just wanted to make sure I was prepared and ready to handle this.

On if he is ready to take the next step in the career…

Yeah, I think we’re all ready to just move on and keep elevating our play. That’s the main thing.

On the team learning from Tim Tebow’s work ethic…

I think our team does a good job of pushing each other and Tim only adds to that. We have a great situation where we have great attendance in our off-season program. All of those guys who are there want to work out, want to push each other, want to compete, so Tim fit right in and that’s why he’s a great fit for our team.

On Coach Sparano yelling when plays aren’t executed properly…

He wants you to fix it. He wants to hold guys accountable and get to the truth of the play, what exactly happened. You have to get it in a short amount of time and you can’t draw on anything too long. He really preaches that whether it’s a touchdown, interception, incompletion, run for 50 yards or a negative rush. You have to move on, find out why it was wrong, fix it and move on.

On if Coach Sparano’s style is different than what he has seen in the past…

It’s along the lines of most successful teams. I feel like they have a short memory, move on quickly and make few mistakes.

On if he has learned anything from Tebow…

We’re all learning from each other. He [Tebow] has a great attitude. He’s always smiling. He’s always excited and works really hard. He’s just a great fit for the team, but there are other guys around the room, other coaches that you really want to look back to. We’re all learning from Coach Sparano, not just the offense, but the way he acts and his work habits. You have guys on defense like [Darrelle] Revis and Bart Scott who are leaders on the team. We’re all pushing each other and teaching each other a little bit more and more.

On how Coach Sparano’s style is different from other coaches…

There are a few things. He’s great. He pushes you hard. A lot of times, a lot of the coaching is rhetorical. A lot of the questions are rhetorical. He might be phrasing it as a question, but he doesn’t really want a response, so you try to learn that as you go. He wants it right. He wants it perfect and he wants it efficient, so you learn that quickly.

On the progress of the offense…

Talk to coach, but I think we’re moving along at a good pace and we’re happy with where we’re at.

On how excited he is about the receiving corps…

We have to get them on the field. On paper it looks great. We just have to push each other to get healthy, stay healthy and take care of our bodies. We really need those guys out on the field.

On if it’s a problem so many receivers are hurt…

On one hand, it might be, but on the other hand, it’s one of those things where we’re not playing a game next week. These guys have plenty of time to recover, hopefully find out why they’re injured, what it is, improve on it and add to their routine to prevent further injuries. It’s an explosive group, but we’d love to see them on the field.

On how he gauges his progress…

As an offense, it’s just efficient plays. Coach Sparano preaches that, whether it’s a positive run, completion or understanding the situation. Sometimes it’s taking a sack. Sometimes it’s even throwing the ball away and really understanding that stuff. When we go back and look at the film, they’re charting your completions, footwork, drops and all of that. It’s going well. I think it’s been one of our better off-seasons, no doubt, but there’s still plenty of work to do.

On when he will come back to New Jersey…

I did more lower-body-lifting stuff, a little heavier, a little more frequently. The intensity of it was really tough. That’s what I need going back. I needed to put on a little weight, lower-body and upper-body strength, along with working with great mechanics with Coach [Matt] Cavanaugh. That kind of stuff helps you throw the ball better, not only early in the season during camp when you’re getting a lot of reps, but as the year progresses. Just keep a couple of those exercises and workout routines, carry them with you the whole year and hopefully that will push you through the entire season.

On if wear and tear took its toll on him at the end of last year…

Each season is long. By the end of the season nobody is healthy anyway, so it felt normal in that regard, but we really try to take a little bit of a different approach, a proactive approach by starting early and gaining a little bit of weight so if you lose some, you’re in the right spot come January.

On if he plans to keep lifting as much during the season…

We’ll see how the season goes and how I’m feeling, but at this point, absolutely. That’s the plan, to just keep up with what I’ve done. During the season, it’s a little more difficult to keep up with what I was doing in the off-season, but we’ll do as much as we can. As long as I’m feeling good, loose, limber and strong enough to make all the throws, we’ll be good.

On if he’s as strong as he has ever felt…

Easily, absolutely, I just feel good. I feel like I’m in good shape. I feel the ball is just jumping out of my hand. Now, it’s a matter of learning this offense to the best of my ability and really putting the team in a good spot. Physically, it’s the best I’ve felt.

On coming back to training camp after a long break…

I think guys understand the importance of our break. They understand that just because you’re on break from the building doesn’t mean you’re not in your playbook and doesn’t mean you can’t take any film home and study. That’s going to be the most important thing because you’ll see who’s studying when we come back and no one wants to be the guy that doesn’t know what to do. I think that pressure just from amongst ourselves, pushing each other, making sure guys are on the right page and understanding what we’re doing, I think guys will really come back strong.

On if the layoff will hurt the strong team camaraderie…

At Jets West, we get a chance to really get in the playbook, but it’s more for having fun, being with each other and getting a feel for the other players in this skill position group. As far as defensive groups, I know some guys go on vacation with each other. I know some guys stick around here and work out as much as they can here. It just seems like we have a close unit, so I don’t think that stuff will fade. As soon as we get back to camp, they’ll pack us in the dorms and we’ll be together for a month.

On if he thinks the team needs a break now…

It’s the right time. Coach [Bill] Hughan and his staff have really pushed us. I think guys are feeling good about their progress and improvement. It’s time for a quick break, but don’t stay away too long. Be ready to jump back into it mentally.

On if not going to Cortland hurt the team last season…

I don’t know if it changed too much. We weren’t as good as we wanted to be last year, plain and simple, but Cortland never hurts. I think it can only help us, especially with the off-the-field stuff, like camaraderie, keeping team morale high and getting guys excited. When you live with guys for two or three weeks, you know everything about them. That’s the best way to go into a season, really understanding each other, caring about each other and when you really care about something, you’ll protect it. That’s where we want to be on this team. We want to protect this team.

On spending training camp in Cortland…

It sounds pretty dismal, but it’s actually a good time, it really is. You figure out stuff to do. You figure it in those quick short breaks from meetings when there’s time to goof around and have fun. Then you better be ready to stop back and get your focus for Coach Sparano.

On if he feels more prepared for this season than past ones…

Physically, I do for sure, absolutely. Mentally, I think it’s tough to gauge just because it’s a new offense. That’s one thing that you just have to keep repping in your head, keep drawing up, keep studying your flashcards and hope it works out right. It’s almost like there’s not enough time at all, so just keep pushing.

On if he’s ever been more anxious to start a season…

My rookie year I was pretty anxious. I didn’t know what to expect. I think now I’ve been as anxious as past years, but I have a little better understanding each year of what’s coming. I know what the dorms look like. I know what Cortland’s going to be like. I know where to eat when we get our day off and all that so I’ve got that routine planned in my head. It’s going to be a good year for us. We’re just ready to get started.

On Coach Ryan’s comment that the younger quarterbacks took a step back last season because of the lockout…

It couldn’t have helped us. To me I think Rex is making his own judgment on that and I totally respect that but at the same time as competitor, and not that I’m competing with Rex in any way, but I don’t want to use that as an excuse or a crutch, like you get a free pass because of the lockout. I know what he’s saying, but I need to play better.

On his confidence in the offensive line…

We’ve done it before and I think they took some of the blame for some of the stuff that wasn’t necessarily their fault. But that’s a group that’s hungry and excited I know at the type of conversations with Brick [D’Brickashaw Ferguson] and Wayne [Hunter]. They’re excited to get back after it. They're ready to compete. Those guys can’t wait to get the pads back on and really show how hungry they are. I think our interior guys work so well together and they have such a good rapport on and off the field that they’re excited, too. Nick [Mangold] and Brick and Meat [Brandon Moore], Slawdog [Matt Slauson], they’re ready to go. Throw the tight ends in there, a couple of new faces in that group, they’ll be ready to roll.

On if he feels that he regressed last season…

That’s for other people to decide. I just know that I turned the ball over too much. As many good things as you do, turning the ball over doesn’t negate them, but it really does hurt the team. So, most important thing moving forward is taking care of the football, making good decisions. If we cut down on a couple of those interceptions, we might be in the playoffs, that’s the way I look at it, and just keep getting better.

On the fact that he threw 26 touchdown passes…

We put ourselves in great position. We were the number one in the red zone, so sure. Were there highlights from last season? Absolutely there’s a whole boatload of them, a whole reel. But we just didn’t have enough down the stretch to get it done.

Preseason Live: New York Jets

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