[B][SIZE="4"][URL="http://espn.go.com/new-york/nfl/story/_/id/7650008/new-york-jets-quarterback-mark-sanchez-keeping-low-profile"]Has anybody heard from Mark Sanchez?[/URL][/SIZE][/B]
[B]Jets QB is harder to find than Waldo, but family, friends say he's preparing for 2012[/B]
By Dick Semen-i
Updated: March 5, 2012, 8:27 PM ET
Mark Sanchez walked away from the wreckage of the New York Jets' season and hasn't been heard from since. Not a peep and only two tweets.
For two months, Sanchez has avoided the media spotlight, no easy task for a high-profile quarterback. Oh, there have been a few sightings, including a Sunday appearance at the Staples Center to catch his hometown Los Angeles Lakers, but he hasn't commented on football since the Jets' locker-room controversy exploded.
Inquiring minds want to know his take on the Santonio Holmes feud and the Peyton Manning speculation and the "coddled QB" firestorm, but Sanchez has managed to crisscross the map -- the Caribbean, South Florida, Las Vegas, California and New Jersey -- without dishing on any of it.
[I]Sanchez, normally personable, has disappeared from the public eye -- for the most part.[/I]
Nick Sanchez, the quarterback's older brother and business manager, said Mark has been "in the basement," so to speak, using the downtime for quiet introspection. Some might argue that Sanchez has been in the storm cellar, riding out the tumultuous offseason and ducking controversy.
"Good for him, he needs a vacation," said Bob Johnson, who coached Sanchez at Mission Viejo High School and remains a confidant. "I'm glad. He needs time away. He doesn't need to be answering those types of questions."
Sanchez hasn't addressed reporters since Jan. 2, the day after the Jets' once-promising season ended with the Holmes blowup in Miami. Since then, his leadership has been questioned by current and former teammates, some claiming he has been coddled by the organization.
"He's just been focused on, 'How do I improve?'" Nick Sanchez said. "He's been very introspective. [B]He's back in the basement, back in the laboratory, watching as much film as he can and trying to figure out how to make this work[/B]. In his mind, [B]it's not, 'How many interviews can I do?' It's, 'How many games can we win?'[/B]"
Those close to Sanchez are fiercely protective of him, reluctant to reveal too much about the past two months. For instance, his brother declined to say if the much-anticipated sitdown between Mark and Holmes has occurred.
This much we know:
Sanchez vacationed in the Caribbean after the season. He swung by South Florida, where he hooked up with former Jets and Miami Dolphins quarterback Chad Pennington for playbook study sessions -- an introduction to Tony Sparano's offense.
He partied in Vegas, dining at a tony steak house for a family-style meal that included lamb chops, Alaskan king crab, Australian lobster tails and organic fire chicken, according to a gossip item in the Las Vegas Sun. He washed it down with merlot and espresso martini shots. He also was spotted at a Vegas nightclub.
Sanchez experienced Linsanity (after all, he's only human), catching a recent Knicks game at the Garden. In fact, he tweeted a photo from the game, sitting with teammate D'Brickashaw Ferguson and Ferguson's wife.
A few days earlier, Sanchez made headlines with the Feb. 14 tweet to Holmes that read: "@santonio10 you want to be my valentine?" Attached was a picture of a heart-shaped box of cookies -- presumably, a lighthearted reference to their ballyhooed rift.
Aside from those two tweets, Sanchez has been conspicuously quiet on social media -- quiet everywhere. It has been a silent fortnight, multiplied by four.
Sanchez also didn't make an appearance at the Super Bowl, a mecca for product-endorsing players -- which prompted bashers to criticize him for avoiding the spotlight. The Jets explained his absence by claiming his marketing partners didn't require him to be there.
Privately, some teammates said they'd like to see Sanchez step up and exert his leadership.
[B]Sanchez has spent most of his time in New Jersey and has been spotted many times at the Jets' facility[/B], according to sources. Supervised instruction can't begin until April 16, according to the new collective bargaining agreement, but [B]he has been working out on his own, strengthening the pinched nerve in his neck[/B] that flared up late last season.
He returned to California about three weeks ago, popping in to visit his old coach. Johnson didn't care to characterize the conversation ("It's private") or Sanchez's demeanor. The quarterback also worked out for a day with his personal trainer, Todd Norman, who runs a gym in Irvine.
"After everything that has gone on this year, it's probably a good thing to escape and remove yourself, to take a break, step back and think about things," said Norman, who has encouraged Sanchez to use the adversity as fuel.
[B]On Monday, Sanchez began a six-week training program with Norman -- two to three hours a day, five days a week, until the Jets begin their offseason program[/B]. Teammates [B]Joe McKnight and Patrick Turner,[/B] both former USC teammates, [B]are expected to join Sanchez for the sessions[/B].
"The plan is to get after it," Norman said. "I want to get him bigger, faster and stronger."
Norman fumed when he heard that an unnamed Jets player, quoted in the newspaper, questioned Sanchez's work ethic. That's not the player he knows, he said, the player who spent his bye week at home, working out.
Johnson, too, was annoyed.
"It kills me," he said. "That's just stupid."
Johnson is the father of a former NFL quarterback, so he knows there's a lightning-rod mentality for quarterbacks. You're either a hero or a bum, especially in New York.
On a flight back to California last November, following the Jets' blowout loss to the New England Patriots, Norman watched his friend get skewered on TV.
"All day on ESPN, they were ripping him apart," he said. "It was nonstop for six hours."
The criticism, he meant, not the flight. By season's end, it had intensified. How Sanchez responds in 2012 could determine the course of his career. For now, the former GQ cover boy has used the magazine's initials as a guide to handling the adversity.
Follow Rich Cimini on Twitter: @RichCimini
For all the haters and doubters, Sanchez is a leader and football player and will prove his detractors wrong this upcoming season.
here he is. Dang it!
lemme try again!
Yep! thats what I thought.
Sanchez won't improve until they get rid of Coach Cavanaugh, and by then it will be too late. Hearing about how hard he's trying just makes me sad, because I can see how much the organization has been, and still is, putting him in a position to fail by surrounding him with terrible offensive coaching. It's unavoidable no matter what a good kid he is.
here he is. Dang it!
lemme try again!
Yep! thats what I thought.
[QUOTE=Astoria;4385152]Offseason stories are awful.
Sanchez won't improve until they get rid of Coach Cavanaugh, and by then it will be too late. Hearing about how hard he's trying just makes me sad, because I can see how much the organization has been, and still is, putting him in a position to fail by surrounding him with terrible offensive coaching. It's unavoidable no matter what a good kid he is.[/QUOTE]
Totally agree. Just unfathomable that they keep Cavanaugh. Ecstatic that Shottenheimer gone, but why do they do these firings piecemeal?
This is exactly what he should be doing and cimini has provided the most encouraging offseason news since Rex chose to back-off the guarantees.
Firstly, as any working person understands - its his time off and he can do whatever he so pleases. He has no legitimate obligations to the media or to anyone that is not a sponsor. I personally think he was in the spotlight too much, which is partly why that post-season Sanchez Bash-A-Thon took place. Removing himself from that craziness was a mature, not cowardly, decision. The focus is on football and not Xbox 360 Kinect "Your Shape Fitness."
I love that he is implementing a plan. This is were his character and the strong network he has around finally pays off. You think his meeting with Chad was by some random logistical chance? We all know Pennington understands the pressure of being a NY Jets QB in an era of constant media dissection. It has been mentioned plenty of times on this board (mostly in jest) for these two to connect. The unforseen bonus was that Pennington's old head coach would become Sanchez's new OC. Now, this "meeting of the minds" provides Mark the benefit of relevant experience/knowledge [B]AND[/B] playbook insight from one of the more intelligent QBs in recent memory. This will pay dividends and hopefully their relationship grows.
Next step is for him to start working with his coaches and really buying into the Big Tony system. I can't describe the optimism I feel about this coaching change. This guy is a Parcells disciple who is currently implementing an offensive system that will highlight Mark's strengths. Hopefully we snag Trent "Emmitt Smith 2.0" Richardson in the draft and our power running game will feed into more Play Action, especially Drew Brees styled roll-outs. The age old "is it Sanchez" or "is it B Schott" debate will be resolved soon enough - and we'll all see that it was Sch!tthead.
If we dont address our running game, watch out for the Jets Jeremy Lin - our own hidden gem - named Scotty McKnight to help out our QB. If he is healthy and makes the roster, he will be an impact WR. I love everything about the kid as a prospect and before you scoff think about Woodhead scoring a TD in this year's SB. At the very least, his presence would be good for Sanchez and theyve been working on chemistry since middle school. Scotty had Mark throw to him at his pro-day last year and he didnt drop one pass. Whatever you all think, the 4th spot is only penciled in to Patrick Turner and the other competition, Logan Payne, is also coming off an injury.
I have plenty of faith that he is heading in the right direction and there plenty of reasons to support that notion.
[QUOTE=Beerfish;4385168]Results are all that matter, I couldd care less how hard he works. If he doesn't play better when under fire then it makes no difference how hard he works.[/QUOTE]
It does make a difference how hard he works. He won't get any better without hard work. Whether it pays off is yet to be seen, but the willingness to work hard to get better is a start. Without it you have Jamarcus Russell.
my only problem with the article is that apparently Dick Semen-i is angry that Sanchez is spending his time trying to get better and NOT spending his time providing exclusive interviews with Dick Semen-i
[QUOTE=sg3;4385191]my only problem with the article is that apparently Dick Semen-i is angry that Sanchez is spending his time trying to get better and NOT spending his time providing exclusive interviews with Dick Semen-i[/QUOTE]
Second. Mark is working hard for the next season and the author is b*tching around cause he avoids media. Stupid.
I always ask this question about media trolls. Who issues their credentials to access Florham Park? Is it the Jets or the NFL?
If it is up to the Jets then shame on them. Dick Semen-i should not be allowed in the facility for all the bullsh!t he tries to pull. And Manish should be on his way to that status after the sh!t he pulled as well.
... cimini is P-O'd that sanchez won't waste his time with him ...
... F-U dirtball :yes: ...
... sanchez is doing just what he should be right now ... working out, getting a leg up on the new system/terminology, and clearing his head in the offseason by getting away from POS's that would like nothing better than to tear him down ...
... keep it up mark ... 2012 is a big year for you & you know it! ...
[QUOTE=iahawkeyejet;4385175]It does make a difference how hard he works. He won't get any better without hard work. Whether it pays off is yet to be seen, but the willingness to work hard to get better is a start. Without it you have Jamarcus Russell.[/QUOTE]
Couldn't agree more! Very few ever get it handed to them! His hard work only gives us a chance!