Schotty Passes the Praise to Tebow, Sanchez
Published: Tue, March 30, 2010 - 5:22pm ET
By Eric Allen
Allen is the senior managing editor of newyorkjets.com. He is in his ninth season with the Jets.
File Under: Brian Schottenheimer, Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow
change font email article 03/30 — The Jets landed their franchise quarterback last April and they have four passers on their roster, so they don’t figure to add another one to the group in the 2010 draft. But offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, who played collegiately at the University of Florida, is very impressed by UF product Tim Tebow.
“I got a chance to meet Tim down at the Super Bowl. He’s represented by my agent, Jimmy Sexton, and I can’t tell you what an impressive personality he has — the way he carries himself and the way he talks about his faith. It was very impressive, very real," Schottenheimer said in a recent interview with newyorkjets.com.
“I haven’t studied him too much on film. Obviously I will look at him at some point, but I would want the guy on my team based on leadership ability alone. The guy’s always won. There are going to be things you can find offensively to use him with. Just having spent that amount of time with him and watching that much film on him and watching games during the season, I wouldn’t bet against the guy.”
Schotty got his guy less than a year ago when the Jets moved up on day one of the '09 draft to select USC QB Mark Sanchez. After having successful arthroscopic surgery on his ailing left knee in February, the 23-year-old Sanchez has spent many hours rehabbing inside the Atlantic Health Jets Training Facility. And when he hasn’t been in the training room, Sanchez has been a frequent visitor inside Schottenheimer’s office and at offensive staff meetings.
“It’s been terrific in terms of his growth and understanding the system. Again, he’s still scratching the surface in understanding the system,” Schottenheimer said. “He knows the system in terms of what we call this, what we call that, but there’s a difference between knowing the language and truly understanding it. The more he’s in there, the more he’s going to pick up on the system and his knowledge and understanding of what we’re trying to do will really help moving into next season.”
Starting 15 regular-season games as a rookie, Sanchez completed 53.8 percent of his passes for 2,444 yards with 12 TDs and 20 INTs. But he became a 60.3 percent postseason passer with four playoff TDs and two INTs and flourished down the homestretch as the Jets advanced to the AFC Championship Game.
“When we drafted him, we really knew he was going to have a chance to be a special player. But I think the thing I’m most proud of is he never changed throughout the good times and the bad,” Schotty said. “After the first few games, we were 3-0 and feeling really good and he stayed even-keeled. We struggled some and he obviously threw some interceptions and lost some games and he stayed even-keeled.
“He worked through those problems. Having watched him in the playoffs and seeing how his preparation and routine kind of came into its own. Mixing that with his confidence level will really make him feel really good going into training camp and into next season.”
Last season the Jets rushed the ball on 59 percent (607 out of 1,030) of their plays. Meanwhile Sanchez had 390 dropbacks when you combine his 364 attempts and 26 sacks. While nobody rushed the ball better than the Green & White in 2009, Schotty says the Jets will air it out more in 2010.
“I think so. The big thing for us is we want to keep people off-balance,” he said. “We’re awfully proud of what we did last year in leading the league in rushing — that was actually a goal of ours in the spring. Anytime you can set a goal and go and achieve it, that’s pretty special.
"As Mark continues to come into his own and now we have Braylon back for a full year and the development of Jerricho and Dustin Keller and all these guys, it just gives us another weapon. Our philosophy is not going to change, we’ll still hear “ground and pound,” but again we’re going to try to keep people off-balance and mix it up each week based on what opponent we’re facing.”