Coaching moment of the week
I like when coaches capture a moment and impart the kind of wisdom fourth-grade teachers can impart, but it sounds so logical and simple that ... well, let me throw this story from the Meadowlands at you.
Did you see the silly interception Mark Sanchez threw on the first possession of the Jets' season? Rolling out on second down at his 47, Sanchez neared the sideline when, for reasons known only to him, hs tried way too hard to make something happen, flipping the ball in Favrian style to tight end Jeff Cumberland. But safety Bryan Scott picked it off, and the Jets' horrendous offensive summer seemed about to continue into an even worse autumn.
Sanchez looked disgusted with himself when Sparano found him.
"Listen son,'' Sparano said, "you didn't have to do that. You'd made six or seven positive plays in a row to get us there, and if you throw it away, it's third down and you keep the drive going. It doesn't have to be you winning the game by yourself. Cut your losses. Let your teammates help.''
Sparano told me last night: "It was an easy conversation to have. Mark's a very good kid. He knew. Every play doesn't have to be a home run.''
Some players -- and maybe Sanchez last year -- would have squeezed the football so tight on the next possession, and the next, and not been able to make winning plays. But on his next five drives, Sanchez went touchdown, touchdown, field goal, field goal, touchdown, with 266 yards of efficient, accurate drives. "Mark got the ball out on rhythm,'' said Sparano. "That's the way we've seen him play in practice. I think it was just a matter of getting all our receivers out there healthy and contributing as a unit.''
Winning 48-28 in the opener is important to any team. It was incredibly important to the Jets, and to Sanchez. They'd been the worst offensive team in the NFL in the preseason, and it seems like a matter of time before Tim Tebow seriously threatened Sanchez's job security, all the nicey-nice talk around the team notwithstanding. But Sparano never got to dip into his bag of tricks for Tebow on Sunday, basically because he didn't need to; the game was out of hand early. And Sparano figured: Why give future foes a chance to scout Tebow doing exactly what the Jets think can be dangerous enough to win a game down the road? "The kid is getting better,'' said Sparano. "We're going to use him in a bunch of different ways.''
Just not Sunday.
Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/201...#ixzz264mX0xNP