Say this for Mark Sanchez — the kid just doesn't play around. After Kerry Rhodes told me that Sanchez had already contacted the Jets' receivers, I stopped TE Dustin Keller in the locker room Thursday and asked him if he had heard from the rookie quarterback.
"He texted us. He wanted to get together and throw a little bit before rookie minicamp," Keller said. "He just wanted to get a feel what some of the routes are, so I met up with him and he's looking really good."
Without any prodding from the coaching staff or the organization, Sanchez smartly got to work with a few of the veterans before running plays with the rookies. Since league rules don't permit rookies to be at the facility during the week leading up to rookie camp, Sanchez connected with Keller at a local New Jersey high school. (Dustin, who attended Jefferson HS in Indiana, doesn't recall the name.)
"It was actually just me and him," said Keller, who caught 48 balls last season and will be a main cog in the offensive attack going forward. "We were out there for like 45 minutes to an hour, but he was throwing a really good ball. He puts it right where it needs to be every time and he's a real cool guy, a real likable guy."
Maybe Sanchez doesn't own a howitzer like Brett Favre, but the kid has an arm that is more than adequate. All the reporters could see that last week at rookie minicamp and Keller says Sanchez was on the money during their informal throwing session.
"I thought he had a good arm. When I was coming out of the breaks, the ball was right there," he said. "I was excited about it."
In an outgoing and respectful manner, Sanchez has sent a clear message to his teammates. He's not going to be intimidated by making a transition to the pro level and there is business to attend to.
"I liked that being a rookie, he's trying to get all the guys to come out and throw. That says a lot about him and his leadership," Keller said. "As soon as he got here, he was a man of his word. He was ready to go to work as soon as I got there."
Sanchez certainly has the "it" you want in a quarterback. The Jets' brass fell for him at his personal workout and he's already getting rave reviews from his new teammates.
"He's a laid-back guy but just ready to go at all times," said Keller. "I don't know — it's hard to explain. He's a real cool guy that is always trying to get better."