Mark Sanchez says he's ready to take on the Jets' new offense under coordinator Marty Mornhinweg and the team's new competitive mantra, and that he's "fired up about the year ahead."
"I'm coming in to compete and be the best player I can be — that's really my only focus," Sanchez, the starting quarterback for virtually all of his first four years with the Jets, told reporters on a conference call Monday afternoon following the first session of the team's offseason program that morning. "The first thing I can do is learn this offense forward and backward. Then we'll go out on the field and it's my job to be the most accurate guy, the best decision-maker, and we'll see from there.
"Nothing's changed in my approach."
Sanchez acknowledged the individual and team struggles of 2012 that led to the Jets' 6-10 record, the change from Mike Tannenbaum to John Idzik in the general manager's office, and the new direction the Green & White have set out on as a result.
"As a whole, we sustained some tough injuries there," he said, referring to the season-ending injuries to CB Darrelle Revis and WR Santonio Holmes in the first quarter of the season. "We didn't quite develop an identity. I think at times there were decisions that I made that put our team in a tough spot. I tried to force the ball here and there, tried to make up for something we didn't have that week or something that wasn't right, tried to make a play that comes back and gets you.
"There was plenty of that to go around. Those things happen every year. We tried to come back from tough injuries like that and establish ourselves. ... We didn't get to do that last year."
Sanchez said he watched all the video from last year to get him ready to attack this year with a new scheme and a new cast around him on offense.
"Once you watch all that film, there's nothing else to do except try to improve, try to understand how you got in that position, what led to that, and avoiding some of the pitfalls if possible," he said. "Get after the fundamentals like you do every offseason, work on your release and your feet and your drops, go back to the basics like you do every year and try to improve.
"It's a whole new year, and I'm excited to see the kind of team we have when it's all said and done and we line up on opening day."
No. 6 said he met with veteran QB David Garrard, one of his competitors for this year's QB job, during this morning's running, stretching and meetings allowed during Phase 1 of every NFL team's offseason program start. "He seems like a great guy. We'd met before that. Yeah,he seems cool."
As for those weekly, sometimes daily rumors involving trades for Revis and even for him, he said that's up to Idzik's front office one floor above the players' first-floor area.
"I don't know what to say. That's more of an upstairs question. I'm not really worried about that," he said of a report that his name was mentioned in one trade. About a Revis deal, he said, "It's not my call. He's a great teammate. I love him as a friend. I don't make those decisions."
Sanchez said the changes he's undertaken from last season to this have been pretty basic. On the mental side, it's learning Mornhinweg's West Coast-based offense.
"As far as the emotional side, my heart's into this thing," he said. "I'm just excited to see a bunch of guys on the team again, get ready and get going. That's really where my head's at. I'm fired up about this year."