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Mark Sanchez Press Conference

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Courtesy NY Jets PR Department

Wednesday 09/16/09

On how he feels he will fare against New England….

I know this is a well-coached group, a disciplined group, a team that has great technique up front, in the secondary, their linebackers, they all play well together. That’s why you don’t see guys acting out like individuals doing their own thing on this defense. They play well together and they give quarterbacks fits. It’s important for me to be smart with the football and to be on my game and know where our routes are, know where my hots are, and really just play smart. I respect Coach Belichick and his scheme. I know this is going to be a tough challenge for us.

On what he thinks he will see from the New England defense…

We can see anything. They are capable of playing anything because of their athletes, because of the guys they have, their personnel. They can do it all. They’ve shown it all and have been successful with just about everything. They’re a stingy group. I think the most important thing for them is they play as a unit. They know what the other guys are doing and they really work well together. It is important for us to be on our best game and understand where they’re at and know these guys can play in space, they can play man-to-man, they can do it all. It’s a great group.

On Bill Belichick being known for trying to confuse young quarterbacks…

There are plenty of routes that they can go. Whether it’s trying to confuse us with a bunch of blitzes or overloading one side and leaving one side free, whether its games up front, they have it all and they’ve shown it. Or, they might just play coverage and make me check the ball down and not throw it down the field or man-to-man. Shawn Springs is out there, a guy who’s played for a long time, who knows how to cover and read eyes. It’s going to be a tough one for us and we’re excited about the challenge. This is important to us, at home, a divisional opponent.

On playing New England this early in his career…

It seems like each week in this league, there are obviously no slouches. Maybe in college, and Coach [Pete] Carroll will kill me for saying it, you play a team that might not be as strong one week. You don’t change your preparation at all, but you have that in the back of your head. But, in this league there is nobody you can take a week off for, especially this group. They’re great on offense. They know how to win. All I’ve known is them winning Super Bowls these last few years. They know how to win games at the end of the game. They don’t just fall off and quit early. This team will play you until the end. They’re tough, they’re physical, and they’re smart. It’s important for us to play the same way and get one out.

On if he feels New England is a must-win game…

Sure. This is our first divisional opponent at home, our first home game. This is huge for our fans [and] for us personally. At the same time, we don’t want to blow this game up and make it bigger than it is but we need to understand that it’s important. It’s a divisional opponent at home, our first one of the season. This is a great team. I don’t even know what else to say about them. They’ve got the whole package. They know how to play well. They know how to play on the road and we can’t afford to make mistakes in this one.

On if he’s reached out to Carson Palmer…

No, I haven’t actually. After this first week, we’ve all been so busy, but I know we’re going to see him the last game of the season. We’ve kept things pretty internal and just listened to the guys here. You know who’s been an amazing resource is Kellen [Clemens]. He’s given me every tip he could possible give me. He’s played against these guys quite a bit. He’s watched Chad [Pennington] play. He’s seen [Brett] Favre play against these guys. He knows, just like Schotty [Brian Schottenheimer] and other coaches on this staff, how to play against these guys. They’re trying to help me as much as possible, so it’s been great to have them as resources.

On the rivalry between the Jets and the Patriots…

I’m still learning a lot about that just like I’m learning a lot of this stuff on the fly. The offense, knowing that an opening game on the road is very important. Winning that first game is very important for a rookie quarterback [and] first-year head coach. This rivalry, when you talk to fans [it’s], “Oh, just beat the Patriots.” That’s what everybody wants to hear. That’s the way we want to think this week and understand that it’s important to us [and] our fans, but at the same time, it’s a football game and we need to play like we’ve played since we were little kids. Just have fun with it and be smart as well.

On what he saw when he watched video of the Houston game…

There’s plenty of mistakes in that game. It’s riddled with mistakes and I’ve got a lot or work to do. There were some great plays in there. The receivers did a great job after the catch. It’s important for me to clean up a lot of the footwork stuff [and] some of our cadence stuff with the penalties. We can’t afford to do that on the road and put ourselves in first-and-15 with false starts. That’s me in the cadence. That’s all on me. That’s stuff I need to clean up. [With the] incompletions, I felt there were some plays I wanted back that I really could have hit. I did a good job of buying time when I needed to at times. The offensive line allowed me a couple of extra seconds here and there which we made plays downfield. Guys stayed on their routes. The other thing was at the end of the game. You can’t afford to make a mistake like that. That kind of mistake can come back and kill your team. There was no excuse for that and it’s just something you need to clean up and be smarter with that ball. Check it down and go to the next down.

On Jerricho Cotchery

He’s someone that works so hard all week and when he has a game like that it was really no surprise to me or anyone in the organization. He talks to you after every route. He wants to know what I’m thinking. He’s one of those guys who when he gets his chance to run his route in practice, you almost don’t want to coach him too much because he can do it all on his own. He knows how to read guys and he knows how to feel a defender and get open and get quarterback friendly. He’ll go down for the ball. He’ll jump up for it. He’ll go over the middle. He can do it all. The way he caught the ball last week and ran after the catch, those plays aren’t happening without him, and [Chansi] Stuckey as well, and Dustin [Keller] and Leon [Washington], all those guys. After the catch, they were explosive. They made one to two guys miss every time. That’s where our yards came from. That’s where our conversions came from. It started with J-Co and all those guys followed suit, which was important.

On if his confidence has improved with his first win…

Sure. That’s a big-time confidence boost. The biggest thing about last week is that it’s over. It’s something you’ve got to move on quickly. Whether it was a good game, bad game, indifferent, you’ve got to move on quickly. It’s already Wednesday, we’re well into our game plan. Last week seems like a millennium ago. This is a whole new deal and we have a big challenge this week.

On Rex Ryan’s comments about New England having a better coach and quarterback…

Coach Belichick is a phenomenal coach and he showed that with all his wins these past few years. I think they said in our division [since 2001 they’re] 40-11, which is unbelievable, against divisional opponents, guys you play twice a year. That is phenomenal. That’s scheming. That’s the coaches he has around him. That’s the players he drafts with the right kind of attitude, who know how to play for him.

Obviously, Tom Brady comes back from his knee injury. He’s a stud. He plays well. He’s smart with the football. He can check it down. He can beat you down the field and he’s won a million games it seems like in the clutch. That’s when quarterbacks are measured. They’re measured by Super Bowl wins and clutch wins and he’s got them all. We definitely understand how great of a tandem they are.

On playing in his first home game…

This is great. Preseason was fun, but at the same time this is going to be a sold-out crowd, I hope. They’ll know how to cheer. I’ve noticed that in the jump from college to pro. They know how to cheer and they know how to get after opposing teams just like Houston was on us. Hopefully, they show that same kind of spirit and they’re excited like we are to play and take a lot of pride in playing in the Meadowlands.

On his first career start against Houston…

That game was important for me because my family was there. It was a big game for this team and I feel this team is like a family. That relationship I have with my family and now my new teammates who are my new family made it all the more special. Right after the game, I got the ball from the ref and ran up to the stands and gave it to my mom to take home. It shows how much it means to me to have them there.

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