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News » New York Jets Inside Slant 2009-05-08


New York Jets Inside Slant 2009-05-08


New York Jets Inside Slant 2009-05-08
As an organization, the Jets fell in love with Southern California quarterback Mark Sanchez as much for his intangibles as his tangibles. And in his first rookie minicamp practice, he certainly justified their faith in his leadership abilities.


In that first practice, the offense was ahead of the defense, despite having to digest more plays.

The reason soon became obvious. He wears No. 6.

"There were no meetings (Thursday) but everybody got a playbook," coach Rex Ryan said. "Some guy who we have on offense got the entire offense together (Thursday night) and installed the base offense. I guess you can figure out who that was."

Obviously, Sanchez wasn't exaggerating when he spoke after being drafted about how much he wanted to get on the field, and how quickly he wanted to begin learning his new playbook.

"That's the kind of young man we brought in here," Ryan said.

After the first day of practice, Sanchez again did some extra-credit work after school, but this time just with the offensive line.

"The other guys were on their own," Sanchez explained, "looking at their plays and pass concepts and stuff. With the O-line, I just went in and watched a little film with them to get our protections down so we're on the same page. This second practice it sounds like the defense is going to be bringing some pressure, so we want to be on the same page and know when to get the ball out. ... We had extra time and the bus wasn't leaving yet so we just all got together instead of sitting around staring at each other and watched a little film."

Sanchez's initiative is impressive, and his right arm isn't too bad either.

The fifth overall draft pick showed plenty of zip on his passes in two practices in the Jets' climate-controlled indoor facility, and also demonstrated he could throw the most difficult sideline patterns with enough mustard to get them past the secondary.

He also was sharp the second day, although not quite as accurate outdoors in the wind.

After the morning practice on the second day, Sanchez was asked to evaluate himself.

"It was a decent day, not my best day, but I felt real comfortable with the calls," he responded. "We're still working out routes and adjustments so sometimes we're not on the same page quarterback-wide receiver wise, but we'll watch it on film and clean it up."

"He has done a good job. He is really smart," offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer said. "A lot of things that we assumed when we interviewed him in terms of his ability to retain things and his ability to recall information, his moxie and things like that in the huddle have been displayed."

"In the huddle, you can see his leadership," said wideout Marcus Henry, a sixth-round pick in 2008 who finished last season on the practice squad. "He can make the throws. I think he can throw the ball very well, especially downfield."

Schottenheimer said he likes Sanchez's accuracy.

"We always give guys accuracy grades," he said. "I don't know the numbers off the top of my head but they have been good. They have been what you can definitely win with. That has been a positive."

Sanchez will graduate from USC on May 15 and will be back in time for the start of the second week of organized team activities on May 18. Then he'll begin competing directly with Kellen Clemens for the starting quarterback position.

"The cream will rise to the top and I truly believe that," Ryan said of the competition. "I have an opinion on how it's going to go, but I'm not going to share it with you. Obviously I would be lying if I said I didn't. ... You have to earn the job. Whether it's Kellen being the quarterback or Mark being the quarterback, you have to earn the job."

This much is certain -- Sanchez won't be outworked.



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: May 8, 2009

Andre Woolfolk Name: Andre Woolfolk
#38
Position: CB
Age: 28
Experience: 5 years
College: Oklahoma
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