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On Their Mark: Teammates Support the QB


Mark Sanchez committed five turnovers in Sunday's 31-14 loss to New England. But his teammates said Monday that some of the mistakes are clearer than others and not all were committed by the rookie quarterback.

"Every player had a miscue in the game," said WR Braylon Edwards. "Before we can try to put the blame on one person, which you'll never do in this sport, we need to have all our stuff together. It's not."

Fellow wideout Jerricho Cotchery, even though he led the Jets with 84 receiving yards on three receptions, said he saw some things in his play that he needs to fix.

"One of my routes," Cotchery said, "if I hadn't curled in too much, I would have had a chance to get a hand on the ball and not let the guy intercept the ball and run it all the way back."

Edwards knows he can improve upon some areas of his game as well.

"I could have gotten off the press a little bit earlier. If I would have made the first move earlier I could have got to the ball," he said.

Losing games with a developing rookie QB is tough for the veterans on the team, who especially want to win now.

"Our whole mindset is what else can we do to make his job that much easier?" said tackle Damien Woody. "Nobody's perfect in this locker room. Everybody can improve and I think it starts with the veteran guys. Times like this, the veteran leadership has to step forward and be accountable. If we do that and lead the way, other guys will fall in line and that's how you get things turned around."

It's not just the offense. Defensive players know they could do more to make the game a bit more manageable for the rookie.

"Some of the things we can control are the penalties, us not having mental breakdowns and things like that and also control our effort," said Bart Scott on the latest installment of "Barking with Bart." "If at the end of the day a team is good enough to beat you, then you live with it. You just can't live with turning the football over, not getting off the field on third down and having busted coverages and things like that because it gets redundant and you can't win that way."

Despite Sanchez's 10-to-16 touchdown-to-interception ratio, his teammates are still confident in the rook.

"We like the kid. Is he making a ton of mistakes? Yeah. But you win as a team, you lose as a team," said Woody. "It's all a learning experience for him. Each individual person has to do their job to the best of their ability and hope that as he continues to develop that it'll click in his head and he'll continue to make progress that'll show in the field."

"We are going to continue to support him as his teammates and we're going to get better around him," said Cotchery. "It's not about one guy getting better — every guy around him has to get better. We can make plays for him. That is what it is all about."

With six games left, the Jets' playoff chances look grim. But the players are still going to continue to give it all they have.

"This is the NFL. Funny things have happened over the course of this 70-year league. We just have to keep playing, one game at a time," said Edwards. "We have a positive attitude that we come out here against Carolina, a team that we watched play on Thursday against Miami, it looks like we can get after these guys a little bit. We're going to come out here with a game plan and beat these guys. And then we're going to try and steamroll it the rest of the season."

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