TRAINING CAMP 2009: Sanchez impresses as Jets close camp
On the final day of his first NFL training camp, Mark Sanchez went out on a high note.
Sanchez, who had struggled mightily in practice all week, turned in his best performance since last Friday’s preseason game against St. Louis.
In 11-on-11 drills, Sanchez completed 7 of 14 passes, including a 36 yard strike down the left sideline to WR Jerricho Cotchery. The rookie also connected with WR Brad Smith for two touchdowns in end of game, red-zone situations, drawing the attention of Rex Ryan.
The rookie was also noticeably sharper in 7 on 7 drills and it is widely speculated that a strong performance by Sanchez in Monday night’s preseason game in Baltimore would officially earn him the starting spot.
While it was an impressive outing for Sanchez, Kellen Clemens turned in one of his less-inspiring performances of camp, taking snaps with the second team. Clemens completed 4 of 7 passes but was picked off twice, once by Rashard Barksdale and the other coming at the hands of Drew Coleman, raising his total to 12 interceptions throughout camp.
“We are down six, fourth-and-goal, last play of the game,” said Clemens. “The ball has got to go. It was fourth down, got to throw it, six seconds left. It was the last play of the game. You never want a pick but there are some situations where it is less hurtful than others.”
A hearty goodbye to Cortland-
As camp came to a close, the Jets player expressed gratitude for their time at Cortland.
OT D’Brickashaw Ferguson believes that rural atmosphere at Cortland was a positive, forcing the team to bond.
“I don’t think you have a choice but to bond,” said Ferguson. “Cortland, like I keep on reiterating, is not like the city, so you cant go out and go to the local spots (in New York/New Jersey) and hang out. You’re here. You look around, you see mountains and trees. But team bonding is definitely what has been accomplished here. Training camp is always hard, but I think when you’re put in a different atmosphere that you’re not normally used to, you focus and rely on each other even that much more.”
“We love it up here, we really do,” said Clemens. “Obviously, that is out of our hands but it’s been a great relationship with the university as well as the community. It’s been a positive experience.”
“I think that the bond that we formed here in August will help us win some of the close games in November and December.”
Injury Update: DT Sione Pouha, went down in a 9-on-7 running drill, injuring his ankle. Ryan stated that he doesn’t believe the injury is too serious and expects him to play on Monday.
CB Darrelle Revis, who has missed the majority of camp with a hamstring injury, returned to 11-on-11 drills today, but was quickly taken out after a few reps. Ryan stated afterwords that they want to be extra cautious with Revis, and that he won’t play against Baltimore.
LG Alan Faneca (finger), Damien Woody (head), and DT Kris Jenkins (calf) have all been ruled out for Monday’s game as well.
Nick Mangold expressed that he hoped to be ready to go Monday night, against the Ravens.
“I think Baltimore does have a great defense and they are very difficult to go up against,” said Mangold. “But if I get the chance to go out there, hopefully I can give (Sanchez) some sort of solid base to look off of and have that confidence that I know what I’m doing and that I’ll get the guys on the right page so he doesn’t have to worry about it.”