Florham Park, N.J.– Sunday’s loss wasn’t even close to being all on Mark Sanchez, but Sanchez refuses to make any excuses and place the blame on anyone other than himself.
Win or lose, every week Sanchez takes the same approach. Every single week Sanchez strives to improve and while he has received his fair share of criticism from fans and the media alike for his play in recent weeks he insists no one is as hard on him than he is.
When asked if after looking at the tape he thought he might have been a little too critical of himself considering the drops, penalties and the nature of his two interceptions, Sanchez refused to bite.
“I mean just the (long pause), for a quarterback there were a lot of mistakes that I made. Just a couple of poor decisions and throws that didn’t need to be made, throws that needed to be made a little better are all over the film and, you know, another quarterback could watch that game and see exactly what I’m seeing and know that, why I put so much pressure on myself and why I’m so critical of myself.” Sanchez said, “You know, Braylon’s wide open, for a touchdown, at the very end of the game. The second to last drive or whatever it was before it was 9-0, when it was 6-0 if I just hit that and don’t hesitate, you know I’m throwing a touchdown, we’re winning the game and we’re not even talking about it anymore, you know what I mean we’re high-fiving, we’re smiling and it’s a different story this week so that’s how tough I have to be on myself and that’s how tough I am on myself. That’s the difference between us being 5-2 and 6-1, it’s this (holds his finger millimeters apart) close, so that’s why I’m like that.”
Sanchez explained how much it hurts to watch film of those specific plays saying, “Oh it’s the worst, it’s the worst because you know he’s wide open. He said something about it during the game, he said ‘hey did you see me up the seem,’ and I said yeah I kind of lost you how did it look and he said, ‘I was wide open.’ Well every receiver tells you there wide open and that’s good, that’s fine I want them too, but especially after you look at the film, that could have been an easy one. I mean Seth Ryan (Rex’s son) can make that throw and it’s frustrating.”
Many fans are probably wondering about another play that happened earlier in the game where it appeared Sanchez missed a wide-open Edwards. Of that play Sanchez said, “He’s not even in the progression, no it’s like a backside hold-off route. My brothers asked me the same thing, ‘dude he was wide open,’ (laughing) so you hear that and your like okay John Elway, relax, you know. So he’s not in the progression and he knew that.”
As harsh of a critic as Sanchez is on himself it’s nice to hear he can still have such a great sense of humor about things and that will go a long way to helping him focus on putting his best foot forward. Sanchez was asked if he hopes and thinks the Jets can respond just like they did after the loss to the Ravens and said, “Oh, hopefully, you know, if we respond like we did against the Ravens then will be 10-2 and everyone will be happy, so that would be great and that’s the only way we know how and that’s what should happen on Sunday, but it’s going to take a great work week of preparation and we’re going to have to play well, but it is definitely about responding and being positive.”
This time last year Sanchez admits he would have handled this week much differently and much worse. “Absolutely and it’s important to not make, you know, one bad game a stretch of bad games and that’s kind of the trap you fall into as a rookie, you know things are going bad and they just kind of get worse. Well now things went bad on Sunday, it’s time to make them better and not dwell on it, but learn and improve and move on, that’s what I’m planning on doing and I know the team’s with me.”
“I think I just need to execute, there’s been a couple of, just miscues. Especially in the fourth-quarter, where we need to be our very best and finish games, we didn’t do it and guys owned up to their mistakes and we’re ready to bounce back.” Sanchez said of what went wrong on Sunday, but he continued talking about learning and improving saying, “That games over, there’s a lot of great lessons to learn from it and (with) the kind of offense we have, our scheme, you know the play caller ability and the playmakers we have, we shouldn’t be shut out. So it sent a good message to us, you know, it hit home for everyone and we’re ready to bounce back.”
“It was just one of those days, where you don’t play your best. It was obvious we needed to make plays at times, you know, and we’re all going to have to bail each other out at some point, but we got to all fire, you know, on the same page and it wasn’t happening and a lot of that was my fault.” Sanchez said of his inaccuracy, “I need to more accurate and that’s been the emphasis this week; get completions, I passed up a couple of easy completions, I left a lot of easy throws out on the field, going down the field with some shots that we really didn’t need to take, there were a couple of chances that I could have ran, so plenty of decisions that I need to make better and I definitely will.”
Rex Ryan thinks Sanchez is getting a little too much of the blame for Sunday’s loss. Ryan said, “Well, I think really, if you look at his numbers in that game and you add the drops that we had, I mean five in the four-quarter alone, I think his numbers would have looked pretty darn good, in the second-half anyway. It’s just the first-half he was as accurate as I would have liked him to have been, but I thought he really responded in the second-half, but your not always going to have a great day, but we just need to make on play in that game and we’d be sitting here all fired-up and it just never happened.”
One thing Ryan would like to see from Sanchez is him tucking the ball away and running with it if there is no one open for him to throw to. Ryan said, “That’s the deal, that kills a defense. When you got a quarterback that can run for a couple first-downs and get extra possessions and that’s what he has to understand. From a defensive perspective I’m telling you, you hate that.”
Sanchez agreed with his coach that he probably should have ran the ball a couple of times. Sanchez said, “Sure, absolutely there were some running lanes out there, and some balls that I put in the air that I could have just ran with and even if you get three yards, it’s like running the ball, it’s fine. It’s okay to do that, get down slide get out-of-bounds and just keep the chains moving and do what’s absolutely best for the team and I kind of got away from that last week and that’s why we didn’t win.”
Asked if he thinks he has been harsher on himself this year as opposed to last year Sanchez said, “I think I’m always about the same. When I criticize myself it’s usually rough and that’s the way I want it to be. I’m striving to be one of the best and you can’t get that way if you’re just like oh it’s okay I missed that one and now you let that one go. You have to be tough and set the standard high.”
It’s obvious Sanchez is saying and doing all the right things, the question now becomes can he put all that hard work and dedication into consistent results on a weekly basis.
David Harris hurt his lower back today while lifting weights before practice this morning, coach Ryan informed the media. “David Harris did not practice today, low back….. I expect to get David back, but he did not practice today.” Ryan said, “No it was just in the weight room this morning. He did something, I have no idea what, but you know his back wasn’t feeling good so we just kept him out.”
Ryan still wasn’t going to bite on the speculation of Randy Moss saying he won’t make any comments at all until he has cleared waivers.
Sanchez was asked about a rumor that he supposedly met with Moss yesterday at one of his favorite local spots and was shocked to hear that he supposedly went somewhere to meet with someone yesterday without even knowing it. The following is the conversation as it took place.
A reporter asked what it was like hanging out with Moss yesterday and Sanchez responded saying, “Who? Me?”
“WFAN said this morning that he was spotted at one of your favorite spots in the area”, said the reporter.
“My favorite spots? Where?” said Sanchez.
“I don’t know the didn’t say.” the reporter said.
“Good.” Sanchez replied “No, that’s ridiculous (them hanging out yesterday), I mean yes.”
“So you and Randy weren’t hanging out? asked the reporter
“What? (joking) As far as you know, right.”
Another reporter then asked Sanchez how he would have felt if the Jets did get Moss and Sanchez kept his comedy routine going saying, “We didn’t get him? I haven’t even thought about it honestly, you know we’re worried about Detroit and I love the guys we have.”
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