Mark Sanchez Interview Transcript 8/4/11

On Thursday New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez addressed the media.  Here is the transcript courtesy of the Jets.

On his reaction to the release of Jerricho Cotchery…

It was a surprise. I talked to J-Co (Cotchery) a little bit about it but it was a surprise when I first heard earlier this week. My conversation with him, I would like to keep private, whatever he wants to say, he can obviously say but that is somebody that I really look up to, still do and one of the best teammates I’ve ever had. I was just a little disappointed that he’s gone now, but at the same time, we still have one goal and we are going to do what’s best for the team and he wanted to do what’s best for him and that’s just fine so we will move on and wish him the very best.

On if Plaxico Burress was like having a new car you can’t drive…

I was kind of just staring at it in the dealer window. Oh yeah, that looks nice, its just got a little flat tire right now, nothing big. He’ll bounce back and be ready to play but we just got to be smart about it and give him his time and get ready for him to come back.

On the fact that three of four receivers are new players…

I think it’s a great opportunity for me to bring along younger guys, to make guys better, to help them improve and get the best of our players. I think Dustin Keller is going to have an even bigger role. I think it’s my job to elevate my game and get all of us better no matter who it is. I think we will be just fine. We will have the right pieces in place and that’s what training camp is for, getting comfortable with everyone and being ready to play.

On if the energy at practice today was what he had expected…

What is it? Day four of camp? That’s right about what I expected. Tensions heat up and guys get frustrated and it’s the first day of pads, guys trying to make the team so we understand that. There is nothing wrong with a little skirmish here or there but we have to remember we are on the same team so we don’t want to get anybody hurt.

On his memory of the catch that Jerricho made in Cleveland…

He is the ultimate teammate. He is the ultimate competitor and that’s why it hurts to see him leave and its really too bad. He is someone you can really depend on and whoever gets him is lucky.

On why he thinks Cotchery is leaving…

You would have to ask him. He’s got an agent. You can call him. I don’t want to speak for Jerricho. It’s not really my place. I don’t want to get involved in that and talk about anything he and I talked about and make anything public that he wants to keep private for any reason so I will just have to leave that one. I am sorry.

On when he had this conversation with Jerricho…

Earlier this week. The last few days. Just talking to him, hoping I could change his mind.

On the moment when the free agents ran onto the field for practice…

It was great. We were throwing with Shonn Green and Joe McKnight and here comes trotting in 21 (LaDainian Tomlinson). Oh yeah, there’s my guy. He’s a lifesaver. If you’re in trouble, just find LT. It was great to see him back and smiling and laughing and coaching up the younger guys. It’s always good to see how far Joe McKnight and Shonn Green have come with LT unable to practice.

On if he wears his uniform everywhere…

No. I would probably get stuff thrown at me if I did.

On what he thinks of Jeremy Kerley…

He’s just a baller. He’s doing great (on) first team, second team (and) special teams. There’s always one big surprise at camp and for a guy that didn’t know much of the playbook coming in, he’s picked it up very fast. He’s just a, “Yes, sir. No, si,r” kind of guy. He puts his head down, goes to work, takes coaching really well and players really like him. That could be huge and with Jerricho leaving, this could be a big opportunity for him.

On if Kerley calls him “Sir” …

Heck no. He better not. He’s just that kind of guy. He’s just a sharp kid. He’s smart, just football savvy, and a respectful guy.

On whether he thought Cotchery no longer wanted to be with the Jets or the Jets no longer wanted Cotchery…

I don’t want to answer that question. I’m sorry. You have to talk to J-Co about it. Like I said, I just don’t want to say too much about it. It’s really not my place.

On how much he will miss Cotchery as a player…

I can’t tell you how many times he’s encouraged me when I wasn’t playing well, built me up even when I am playing well. He does it all. Some of the catches he’s made, the touchdowns he’s had, they are all momentum-swinging type plays. You miss that in a player like that, but at the same time, we need to play with the guys we have and move forward toward the Super Bowl.

On having Santonio Holmes back…

Having him back, he’s the savvy vet now, after six months or (how long) he’s been here (joking). It’s good to see him back. It’s good to see how well he remembered all the plays, how in tune he is to what we’re trying to adapt to on offense (and) some of our passing in-routes. Some of the new stuff we’re putting in, he’s picked it up so quickly. He’s helping the younger guys and he’s our veteran leader now that Jerricho’s gone.

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