Captain Sanchez Coming into his Own

Florham Park, N.J. — It seems the overblown bad blood between QB Mark Sanchez and coach Rex Ryan has come to a hault. After the sneak peak of the GQ article hit the airwaves people started speculating that things could turn out negative between the two. Well they were wrong. With Ryan’s sort of happy go lucky attitude and Sanzhez’ playful personality the two seemed to get over the incident pretty easily.

The incident that was on everyone’s mind was the comments that Sanchez made in GQ Magazine while doing a photoshoot and an interview for a good cause. It was for the families and young children who lost either their parents or guardians in the horrific tragedy of 9/11 and with the ten year anniversary approaching it made sense to do it for them. The fighting words that got blown out of proportion were in regards to coach Ryan wanting to bench his QB last season due to his inconsistant play. The then second year NFL QB said “I wanted to fight him.”

Mark Sanchez is taking the captain/leader role to heart and is taking control of the offense. (JetsInsider.com Photo)

Being the competitive player that he is the question must have got to him. He feels he is the leader of this football team and when stuff goes wrong on his side of the ball he knows he is the one at fault and needs to own up to his wrong doings. This is what team leaders do. They out of all people do not want to be benched. I mean who hasn’t wanted to fight the person in charge once in a while because they said something that got you angry or made a decision that you comepletely disagreed with. It happens to the best of us.

That fiasco is all water under the bridge now  (not a big fan of this saying but it fits) and the two look to be fine. In his press conference this morning coach Ryan was praising his young QB for taking his captain anointing and team leadership status in stride. After the loss in their first preseason game the team arrived back from Houston around 5:00am and at about 5:30am Sanchez was in the weight room voluntarily along with his receiver Santonio Holmes and backup QB Greg McElroy staying sharp. Coach Ryan loved what he was seeing and patted himself on the back for making good choices for captains.

“Ifeel good about my choice in captains.” Ryan said. “I think they are taking on that leadership like we expected them to, so I’m proud of that.”

He focused mainly on the way Sanchez is coming into his own and how he is really looking forward to seeing him fill into his position even better this season. He is seeing things that he would have not seen two years ago. The weight room appearance made him proud but that was not the only thing Sanchez is doing to show his leadership. This morning during walk-throughs he took the three big receivers (Holmes-Mason-Burress) along with RB’s LaDanian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene (Joe McKnight was off with special teams) and lead his own mini practice for the remainder of time they had on the field.

‘I think he has grown. I don’t think there is any doubt.” Ryan said. ” He’s doing those things, he’s doing all those extra things and he’s leading guys and it’s impressive.” “This is his offense.”

Coach Ryan was also asked about the numbers aspect of Sanchez’ game and it did not seem to be a big of a deal as everyone is making it out to be. His completetion percentage last season was around 54% and fans and spectators are looking for something over 60% in the upcoming season but that is not what is on Ryan’s mind.

“Numbers? We just want wins.” Ryan said.

Sanchez knows he has to better as a team leading QB to give his team a chance to win. This is why he is doing all he can to get noticed as a leader and top contender and he is humble when putting himself against the games top quarterbacks. The recent whirlwind surrounding Giants QB Eli Manning has received some attention but Sanchez is staying clear of those remarks. When asked about where he feels he is he responded like a young player should.

“I think that’s for other people to debate but you know I know my skill set and I know I’m getting better and once we win the SuperBowl then maybe I’ll have an opinion on that but until then I’m just trying to win games.” Sanchez said during his morning press coference.

The leadership position is coming “natural” to him and he wants nothing more than to run with it. Sanchez knew he was ready for the role and he feels like coach Ryan made the right choice.

“He knew I was ready for that role.” Sanchez said. “They saw my energy and fire and they saw me elevate my play in the playoffs and that helps you establish yourself on this team.”

So, in the end it looks like the two are past their little GQ incidnet and are moving on. The team is hazing Sanchez a bit but with a positive attitude about the whole thing but we all know that’s the Jets. The kid around team until it’s time to play on Sunday. It is a great way to keep the players loose and their confidence high and that’s exactly how it should be. Relaxed atmosphere is the key to success in my opinion and coach Ryan seems to think so as well.

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