Sanchez's Thursday News Conference

Transcript of quarterback Mark Sanchez's news conference in front of his locker following Thursday's midday OTA practice at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center:

On OTAs…

It was a great nine practices. I thought the energy was great. Coach Sparano really lit a fire under this offense on this last day of OTAs. We have a long weekend coming up before this minicamp, but the defense had a hell of a day. That's the kind of competition Coach Ryan wants. We have to try to win the day when we come back. The first day of minicamp, we have to come back stronger than we did today. Overall, it was a great learning process for us and a great look at the speed and ability of all our guys. Overall, I think we're doing very well and have to keep improving.

On the offense's progress…

We're still getting there. It's a long process when you include this minicamp into that as this first real chunk of football you get in the offseason. I think we're making good strides. One of the most important things as we get moving here is installing the playbook. Guys have a basic understanding of the plays and the picture the words of the play paint for you.

Then comes, what happens if a defender does this? What happens when you face a defense like Rex Ryan's and now you're forced to do this? When you play against the coaching staff, you have to know that their going to test your troubleshooting ability. They want you at your weakest point and then they're going to test you right there. The toughest questions about the offense get handled here first against Coach Ryan. We're learning on the fly. Hopefully, all these mistakes will be cleaned up come September and we'll be ready to roll.

On having Santonio Holmes back…

It was great. Just to have his speed and ability is wonderful. He is a heck of a player, so we're happy with him.

On the full participation in Jets West…

It's great. Those guys expect each other to be there. They expect it to be a good learning process just like I do. I'm glad they put the effort out and really understand how important that is to me.

On last season…

That's long gone. Anything from last year, we've moved on from.

On Tim Tebow coming to Jets West…

It's great. [Mark] Brunell and Kevin O'Connell have come out in the past. Having Tim [Tebow] and Greg [McElroy] there will be a help for all of us.

On owner Woody Johnson calling the defense loaded…

I have to agree with him. We're moving along at a good clip on offense, but the most important thing to understand for all of us is one, to hold ourselves and each other accountable for our mistakes on the field, but to understand that that's one of the toughest defenses we're ever going to play. When we can get a few plays right in a row against those guys, get real consistent and stay positive even through an adverse day like today, we'll be just fine. Once we see a different kind of defense, maybe against a less complex scheme, things might look a little easier and happen a little faster. It's a really good test for us on offense and they're not afraid to play hard and compete.

On if he had to make a decision about inviting Tebow to Jets West…

Not at all. I just assumed he was coming.

On if he extended the invitation to Jets West to Tebow…

Absolutely.

On people thinking he would not invite Tebow to Jets West because he is competition…

That's ridiculous. He's one of our quarterbacks. All the skill players and quarterbacks are coming.

On Tebow's play…

He's everything as advertised. He's a great athlete and plays hard. He competes his butt off and is a great asset to our team.

On if he learned about Holmes attending Jets West through Twitter…

He sent up a little smoke signal on Twitter. That's good, an RSVP. I knew about it, but it's kind of funny.

On media not being able to attend Jets West…

We kicked it around with some of the guys and we just wanted it to be our thing. We wanted it to stay within us, get a chance to get away from everything, focus on ball and relax. We know you guys want to be there and we appreciate it, but not this time.

On when he will come back to New Jersey…

Sometime in July.

On the offense struggling today…

Sure. We would like to perform a little better on offense. It wasn't our sharpest day, but that's a part of it. When you play a defense like ours, that's a part of it. That's a part of learning a new system and getting on the same page as everybody. This team is very close. We had a lot of fun together in just nine practices. That stuff is important. It goes a long way. Down the stretch, we're going to need that.

On if he wants Bart Scott to have less fun …

No. Bart has the most fun out of everybody. He's a good reminder on how important this game is to him and how you have to fun and smile. It's a reminder about how lucky we are to be playing and competing against each other. It's exciting.

On what he wants to accomplish next week at minicamp…

I'd like to see us be crisper on offense and come back strong from today. I think it will be a good test. We'll have four days off to get a chance to get into the playbook on our own, come back with some questions and be prepared for a quick install and a fast camp. It's going to go fast so I hope guys look at the film from today, really study it, understand it, talk a little about it over the weekend and get after it next week.

On if they will haze Tebow at Jets West…

No, it's all fun out there. We're all a family out there. We have a really good time. We'll all benefit from it. That's the most important thing.

On why the team is getting along so well…

I think we just have a lot of good guys in this locker room. We have guys with great personalities and guys who like to have fun. We have guys who love playing and competing against each other, who understand that we're all on the same team. Coach Ryan really pushes that competition to the brink, to the breaking point. Today, we saw guys just about to get into a little fight there. That's fine. As long we pull back, figure it out and make up at the end, it's cool. That's the kind of passion we want to play with and I think you're seeing it. All of the guys in here exude that passion.

On if the team has done anything off the field together…

We have done nothing really specific where Rex [Ryan] has called the whole team up, but I know Cortland will be a chance for us to do stuff like that. Jets West is a chance for us to do that on offense. This is a tight-knit group and that's the way we want it to be.

On if he saw "That's My Boy"…

No I didn't get the chance to.

On why the offense struggled today…

One, the defense played really well. Two, I just think we weren't on the same page. I think we have a good understanding of the basic offensive plays. When you really get deep into an offense, there are adjustments on every route, drop and protection. Our defense is forcing us to make those adjustments at a rapid pace.

Are we up to speed where we want to be? It didn't show today. This next minicamp will be a chance for us to correct some of the things from today, get on the same page with our routes and protections and be ready to roll. It was a good test for us. Guys stayed calm. Nobody really tanked it. Everybody stayed upbeat, understood it was a longer process and did not get bent out of shape today.

On if today was third-down-heavy…

There were a lot of third-downs.

On if the defense showed him some looks he hasn't seen before…

Nothing we haven't seen before but I mean we've played against our defense quite a few times now. I think it's just stuff that will challenge your protections. It challenges your hot reads, it challenges your route adjustments, your throwing lanes, and angles and stuff. It really puts the pressure on the offense to make a decision quick, roll with it and hope everybody's on the same page. It is a really good test.

On the benefits of having Holmes attending voluntary workouts in California…

Oh I mean it's a chance for us to just talk about football in a relaxed environment. And in a place where we work out all morning and go grab some food, get around southern California a little bit, try and see the beach, go see a movie, whatever it is, whatever we decide to do. But just have fun and hopefully his kids are around and people like that; those guys are more than invited. We're going to make it a family atmosphere. Other than football we're just relaxing and having fun together as a team. When it comes to the football stuff we work hard for those few hours and move on.

On if the team-building was hurt last year by the lockout…

I think training camp up in Cortland is a big help. I think when you go back to your dorm and all your buddies are in there in this locker room it's got that college feel to it. Where you really bond with those guys you learn about them you know how many kids they have, what colleges they went to, you know anything. What allergies people have. You know, anything. It's important. As little as that stuff might seem, it goes a long way, it really does. When guys really get to know each other and care about each other they want to protect each other on the field, off the field, they just want to be there for each other. I think that's the kind of group were going to have here in mind.

On the extra steps he's taken to learn the new offense…

Definitely, I feel like I'm in school again with homework. But it's a part of the job and I want it to be right. I don't want to make mistakes out on the field. I don't want to get stuck holding the football when I can get rid of it and take pressure off of other players. I want to have the answers if somebody has a question. It just takes more time. Whether its film or flash cards or just studying the playbook, on an airplane back home, at home, in the building, in the cold tub, it doesn't matter it's just got to be with you at all times.

On having the other players looking to him for answers with the new offense…

It's important. I'm still working on finding all the answers. It's important that everybody's held accountable whether it's me or a guy who's been here for nine OTA's and he's a rookie. We're all expected to know it and we're all expected to have the answers. Coach Sparano is very stern, I've said that, and it's important to know that there's no hierarchy in that room.

We're all together. It's not like somebody gets a free pass because they've been to a Pro Bowl or they won the Super Bowl or whatever. Everybody's held accountable, everybody needs to know the answers. He puts us in positions where we have to know what the other guys are thinking, what their responsibilities are. And I think that's important guys need to see that and they understand what kind of room we have.

On if players in the past had gotten free passes…

I don't know.

On the new feel in the quarterbacks' room with the new personnel…

It's just different. It's good, though. It's a good vibe. The whole building has a good vibe. Just at practice guys are having fun again. It really does feel like rookie year again because we don't know the offense as well as we'd like to so it feels like rookie year. But the way guys are together and joking around in between meetings and then you see this ability for everybody, especially what I've seen on offense. Just focus in, as soon as Coach Sparano takes the floor there's no more talking, there's no more messing around and we're focused. Then as soon as we get our break, we get a chance to talk and have a good time for about three minutes and then get back to it.

It's a good test, just like a game. You get your series, you come back out, you talk about it, you laugh, if you scored a touchdown you high five, and then you got to go do it again. He keeps us sharp. It's a good feeling. Quarterback room, it's great, we're all pushing each other it's good for us.

On where the focus and good vibe came from…

I think guys were just excited to have an offseason again. To get back here, see everybody. I mean look at the place that we get to work, we're lucky to work in this building. We have so much fun together. I think guys are just ready to play. Move on from last year and get rolling. It's been a good offseason so far. We still have a long way to go. But we know we're making the right strides and guys are staying upbeat and positive.

On the feeling of coming back to work after an 8-8 season as opposed to an AFC Championship season and if he feels more motivated…

I mean each year is such a new year. The personnels are a little different. We want to get back to the playoffs. That's for sure. That's one of our goals. We have to play well in our division. All those things are the same. So whether you get to the AFC Championship and lose or you don't make the playoffs and you lose in your last game, either way we want to play better than we did. So nothings really changed there, we're just eager to be back.

On having more fun this year…

I think Coach Sparano tries to make it fun, as crazy as that might sound. He does remind us to put a hop in our step, to play fast, to study the night before so we know what to do. And when it happens right, you kind of look around with a quick smile, and it feels nice. It feels good when guys are on the same page, guys are excited. If we make a play, great, if not, come back move on and get the next one.

I think that positive attitude, just putting each play behind you, his command, his ability to keep that focus, it's been good for us. We're having a good time, I told you it sounds crazy. He wants to keep it fun, and it can be fun when we do it right. We can do a lot of great things with this offense, but we have to do it right and we have to hold each other accountable.

On if the team has received green and white cupcakes from Coach Sparano's wife…

Nothing yet. I don't know if he wants to show a soft side like that. It's still very early [laughter].

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