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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
With his matinee-idol looks, megawatt smile and winning personality, Mark Sanchez excelled at the media-tour aspect of being a high draft pick.


But all of that is not what the self-described "gym rat" likes most about football.

"I just want to get back to work," Sanchez said after the Jets took him with the fifth overall pick in the NFL draft. "It's been so long since I've been on the field with my team."

The Jets' three-day rookie minicamp will be the first step in a process Sanchez hopes will end with him winning the competition for the starting quarterback job. With that in mind, he made it clear he doesn't want to have a contract impasse slowing his progress.

"We'll get it done," Sanchez said when asked about a potential contract. "I need to get in this place right now. I need as many reps as possible."

"Our group (Athletes First) hasn't been involved in a quarterback holdout for over a decade," said David Dunn, Sanchez's agent. "Just like Mark

said, I don't anticipate anything standing in the way of this being done in a timely manner."

Dunn declined comment on the contract signed by Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford, the overall No. 1 pick who reportedly received $72 million over six years, including $41.7 guaranteed. Dunn said he hadn't seen the actual numbers of the contract.

"I think this is one that should get done on time," Dunn said of the eventual contract between Sanchez and the Jets.

Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum, who began negotiating contracts for the team under Bill Parcells in the late 1990s, often took pride in not having had any contract impasses that resulted in rookies missing training camp practices. However, that streak was broken in 2007 when first-round pick Darrelle Revis agreed to terms 20 days into camp, and first-round pick Vernon Gholston missed the first day of camp last summer.

With a thick playbook to digest, Sanchez believes he can't afford to miss any physical or mental reps.

"There are guys here," he said, "even in the huddle, who've been in this league for a while ... and I have tremendous respect for those veterans, but at the same time it's about coming into my own, maturing as an NFL quarterback and speaking their language along with the offense. That's going to be a challenge, getting in the playbook, getting in the system, speaking their language exactly like they do and then just competing for my spot. It's going to be a great challenge, but I'm ready for it."

"One of the things we really like about Mark is that he's really smart," said offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, who believes Sanchez will be able to make the mental adjustment to the pro game. "He has such a strong background of offensive football. He's been throwing the ball at Mission Viejo where he went to high school. They threw it all over the place. ... From the time I've spent with him I feel he should be able to handle whatever we throw at him and again it will be good because he has to try to catch up to guys like Kellen (Clemens) and some of the guys who have been here the three years (with me). He has a way to go to catch up but again he's talking to me about that stuff and not about doing the things he obviously has to do with the media. He's excited and ready to go."



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

Cody Spencer Name: Cody Spencer
#53
Position: LB
Age: 27
Experience: 5 years
College: North Texas
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