Florham Park, N.J.- Whenever you hear someone talking about what makes Mark Sanchez a good quarterback you’re bound to hear some variation of what a great leader he is, well today Rex Ryan made it official by anointing Sanchez the captain of the New York Jets.
On a conference call with reporters Ryan said, “This is really going to be his (Sanchez’s) team. I’m not big on giving out those captain things, you know the hockey-type things, but we will put the ‘C’ on his jersey this year because he is a true captain.”
It’s easy to see why Ryan would be the type of coach to hesitate naming a captain, but this is much more than just a ceremonial title. “I’m really comfortable in doing this right now,” Ryan said. “It’s something I think he’s earned and I’m excited to watch this young man grow.”
With rumors swirling of the Jets defense adding a certain elite cornerback with a name that’s awfully tricky to spell, more pressure will shift to Sanchez to make sure he holds up his end of the bargain. Yesterday as he spoke to the media he spoke like a leader, or should I say like a captain.
Sanchez had a focused, determined look at the podium and spoke with a sure confidence, “I’m excited to improve.” Sanchez said, “I think for us to win and take that next step, it’s going to require me improving.”
And he’s right. Regardless of how much the Jets manage to improve other areas of the team at some point it’s going to have to be up to Sanchez to win them a big game to take the team further than the last two seasons.
With Santonio Holmes officially set to rejoin the Jets, Sanchez will have his number one receiver back, but he may lose his number two in Braylon Edwards as a sacrifice for Nnamdi Asomugha or some completely different free-agent signings. In order for the Jets to pull off a feat of this magnitude some restructuring of contracts would be needed and Sanchez, like a true leader, didn’t let a second go by without informing the media he would be glad to shuffle his money around to help build a better team.
When he was asked about restructuring his contract Sanchez said, “Absolutely, I’ve told the guys upstairs this too, whatever it takes to win. If it’s throwing the ball left-handed and that’s what’ll make us win, fine I’ll throw it left-handed.
“It doesn’t matter, we need to win. We’ll get the right players and we’ll tell them everything we need to tell them that is true and we’ll move on from there.”
What is needed for them to win, is the ability to get over the Championship game hump. That responsibility now falls squarely on the shoulders of Captain Sanchez.