Just like many fans, Jets safety Kerry Rhodes is eager to see what rookie QB Mark Sanchez will bring to the table.
"A player with that much hype and with that much of a following already, you want to see what he can do on the field when the real bullets are flying," Rhodes told newyorkjets.com today. "Let's get him out of his streetclothes and see what he can do on the field, so it will be good."
Rhodes, the 6'3", 220-pound fourth-round pick out of Louisville in 2005, didn't get a chance to watch Sanchez spin it while the prolific passer was at USC.
"I've never really seen him play," said the rangy defensive back. "Whenever I watch college, I only watch Louisville, and they've been a disappointment the last two years so it's been tough actually."
Accustomed to the media spotlight, Sanchez impressed many onlookers in his first two weeks as a pro. Rhodes likes what he's seen, but he was especially pleased to hear about Sanchez's outreach to his new teammates.
"He was the No. 5 pick in the draft and he's in New York, so you know how that is with the media attention," Rhodes said. "He's only going to get more attention, but I think he's handled himself well and he's done the right things so far. I heard that he's already contacted the wide receivers and is trying to throw with them, so that's a positive."
On Saturday, Rhodes will be a celebrity judge as the Jets host their Flight Crew finals in Manhattan. (Sorry, it's closed to the public, but you'll get plenty of visuals of the '09 squad on newyorkjets.com on Monday.)
"I really don't know what I'm looking for criteria-wise, but I know I'm looking for some girls who can keep guys' attention in the stands," Rhodes told me. "I'm looking for some girls who can dance a little bit, but for me it's going to be on the look basis first."
This is an exciting third year for Denise Garvey's cheerleading unit. The decisions should prove to be difficult this weekend, considering 19 ladies hope to return and there are 32 newcomers also battling for spots.
"I've seen them a couple of times during warmups. They have been doing their thing for the past two years, but like with any organization you always try to make improvements and there are some improvements to be made there," Rhodes said. "I guess they are trying to take the next step where people and other organizations are looking at the Flight Crew like they do at the Miami cheerleaders or the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders."
Last weekend the Jets were pleased with the quality of candidates they had for their quarterfinal and semifinal rounds at Fairleigh Dickinson University. Rhodes, with a laugh, said he deserves a lion's share of the credit for the solid turnout.
"I want to believe it was all me that brought them out there because I was sending tweets about it and I went to a radio station and put out a blast about it," he said. "I was thinking it was all me. I actually saw a couple of girls with No. 25 jerseys on, so that made it a little better."
When anyone thinks of talent judges nowadays, the thinking always starts with American Idol. Taking his cue from Randy Jackson, Rhodes is going to take an even-keeled approach to the job.
"He's always laid-back and cool. He never really sways too much in any direction," Rhodes said. "I'm going to try keep my facial reactions to a minimum and keep them sweating a little bit."
A frequent tweeter, Rhodes says he very well could be giving fans updates throughout Saturday's final round.
"It never hurts to be in a room with a bunch of beautiful women who are trying to impress you — you can never go wrong with that."
Mike T on Brett the Jet
In light of reports that Brett Favre will be meeting with Minnesota head coach Brad Childress later this week, reporters have asked if Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum had any comment on the development, four months after the team and the legendary QB parted ways after the 2008 season. Tannenbaum issued a statement through the Jets public relations department:
"As I've said in the past, Brett will be a friend of the Jets for years to come. I appreciate his contributions and wish him well in whatever he decides to do."