Sanchez's Wednesday News Conference

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

On how the team keeps the win streak going…

I think the biggest thing is just taking care of the football on offense, controlling the line of scrimmage like we try to do with our offensive line and having a great effort on offense, defense and special teams. But there are some things that we have to clean up from this last game and we won't be shy about doing that.

On the Eagles defense…

[They're] some of the best players I've seen all year on tape, so it's going to be another great challenge for us. They have great pass rushers, two, three, really stellar corners, a couple good safeties and fast flow linebackers, so we're going to have our hands full this week and we're going to need a great effort.

On scoring 13 touchdowns over the last three games…

I think our third down percentage has been pretty good. I think we've established the run game pretty well, we've gotten timely completions and the biggest thing is scoring in the red zone. We've been probably our best since I've been here the last three years of scoring when we get down to the red zone, scoring touchdowns, not field goals. So that's been huge and we need to keep that trend rolling.

On Philadelphia being a tough place to play…

Well, it's noise, weather, whatever it is. We need to adjust and trust the game plan like we do every week. I think we've gotten off to a great start and it was a great Wednesday. We have to keep winning each day and once we get to the stadium, just focus in, let my voice carry as much as I can and communicate all the information I need to, to our guys. But we'll adjust on the road.

On the team thriving in big spots…

I think this particular group, we understood what chances we had early in the season and we kind of squandered some opportunities. We're looking to get back on track and we know have a chance to make the playoffs still, whether it's as a wild card. We've taken that road before, and it might be more difficult, but we want to get in the postseason and take our shot and make a little run here. So I think that's the most important thing, and we've cleaned up a lot of mistakes, so that's why we're playing better.

On when he looks at the talent the Eagles defense has…

Get the ball out of your hand quick if you're the quarterback. I think hanging onto it [too long is a mistake], because they know how to strip the ball from a ball-carrier. Running great routes from our wideouts, being at the exact landmark that we need them to be because they have two great cover corners and then a great nickel player. And just being physical up front. We're going to need to play well and take good plays and bad plays in stride, understand that they're a very talented group, they're going to have good plays, and not to get discouraged, not to get frustrated and just keep pushing and trust the plan.

On if anything has changed about their mindset over the past three games…

Nothing has changed, all of these games are must-wins and we needed to win a lot of games in a short period of time here. So that's our focus and that's the way guys approach it each week and I'm proud of the way they practiced today. We had a great day.

On if he likes the way the team has shown its professionalism in making a late-season run…

Well, it's important in late November, December, [to be] playing your best football. Right as the year ends, we have to be at our best. That means, on my part, taking care of the football and not turning it over the last couple games has been huge. So defenses thrive off of stuff like that. When I turn it over or something, it puts our defense in a tough spot, so we try to eliminate that and just doing one little thing like that, making that one adjustment, has really helped.

On how much different it is now from the Baltimore game when they didn't have Nick Mangold…

Like you said, not having Nick is a big hit for us. He's done a great job of battling back from that injury and getting us to where we are today in our pass protection, so I'm proud of that group for making some adjustments on the fly and really playing their best football down the stretch.

On screen passes…

Well, they're easy completions and if they make their way into the game plan this week, that's great. If not, we have to do it with runs and completions down the field or whatever it is. It's just a good changeup for us, but you can't just rely on something like that. We need to be good running the ball and throwing it downfield as well.

On if they have put their squandered opportunities behind them…

I think we knew what our new opportunity was. I think, just understanding that we kind of put ourselves there and same old thing, what are you going to do about it? Things didn't go the way you wanted earlier in the season and you still have a chance, so what are you going to do about it?

On if it was a challenge to put their struggles behind them…

I think so, and the guys responded well. But we still have a lot of work to do. We're not out of the woods yet and this is kind of like the halfway point. We have, hopefully, seven weeks of football or whatever it is, and we have a long road.

On if they can draw from critical late-season experiences in the past…

It definitely doesn't hurt, playing games when it's cold on the road. Those games help, my experience, our experience together. But they're not always the same. Each team is different, each team is a different challenge and like I said before, we have our hands full this week. These guys are good.

On if he feels more comfortable personally than any other point this season…

I don't know, I think hopefully we're just starting to hit our stride and we're not there yet. I think that would be great for us to feel that way. There's still a sense of urgency, there's still things we can clean up, and that's everybody and it starts with me. Hopefully we're not settling in too early.

On if he has still maintained his ultra-serious side…

Yes, I think so. When I'm here, I'm working my butt off, and that's important. I just try my best to rack up wins and when it's time to have fun and goof around, you do that, and then when it's time, you have to work.

On why he's been so serious…

I told you guys, I'm just focused. I'm excited, we have a great opportunity. We're in a good spot, but it could get better hopefully. And we have to make it get better.

On if it is possible to get better than being sixth in scoring offense…

Five spots.

On why the offense has been clicking…

I think we're all just playing a lot better across the board. Whether it's protection or wide outs on the right landmark, me being more accurate, whatever it is, we've all gotten better. It's the running backs in protection, it's our run game being able to change it up, little screens, all that has been a factor. The good field position we've gotten has been huge. So you have to take it all into consideration, it's not just one guy who decides to make it all better.

On if he feels like he is making better decisions…

I think in a couple situations, yes. I think I still made some throws that I want back and just not missing throws, but into a little bit of traffic. There's always that temptation to want to make a play and be a competitor and all that, but you have to understand the situation we're in in the game and what we're playing for, the bigger picture. It's gotten a little better, but it still has to improve.

On taking extra time after practice one-on-one with Santonio Holmes…

I think we've done a lot more even during practice, just one-on-ones with the DBs [defensive backs]. Getting more and more reps full speed. He's feeling really healthy, he's feeling good. So it's obvious when he's running in practice. The way he blocked on film, him and Plaxico [Burress]. Plaxico had two balls thrown to him, one was pass interference and the other one was a little bit high, and he's still blocking his butt off all game long. That's the kind of effort we're getting from those guys down the stretch, when it's cold, when guys are tired late in the season, that's huge. That stuff all helps.

On the running game being a factor in the offense…

It's huge. It's the running back seeing the hole, it's coach [Bill] Callahan really pushing the offensive line. I think those guys are playing their best football right now when we need them to, and that's huge. I have plenty of time back there, and my jersey has been pretty clean the past few weeks, so that's huge. That's very important, and I let those guys know that. They're doing a great job.

On Shonn Greene…

He's come on strong. He's playing with sore ribs and he's running harder than ever. It's good, one, for him, and then for the other guys to see that a guy who is not totally healthy, just a third year guy, and he's working hard. He's taking care of his body, he's in the training room all the time, working, getting stronger in the weight room, and it really shows. He's making a great push at the end of the season.

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