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Mark Sanchez Interview Transcript 9/29/10

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

On the team’s confidence…

“I think our team confidence is pretty high, but it’s important not to take the cheese. Don’t take the bait and don’t start feeling yourself too much because a team like Buffalo, you go into their environment, their fans are desperate for a win. We’ll expect their best shot. If you overlook somebody like that, they’ll sweep the rug right out from under you. We don’t want that to happen. There’s plenty of mistakes to clean up from last week, the last two weeks really, and we need to play even better on the road this week.  Sure, we’re happy with where we are, but we can’t plateau now.”

On Buffalo being a tough team to play…

“That’s a really good point. They are a scrappy team and they’re tough. They always have played us tough. They’ve been in every game. They haven’t just been blown out. They hung in there with the Patriots and that’s a good football team. They fly around to the ball, they’re fast flow linebackers, their back end is pretty tough and athletic. They’re big on getting a tipped ball or something that like and then, boom, intercepting it. They know about intercepting me from last year. These guys probably know better than anyone. We need to play our best and really take care of the ball and we have a chance.”

On if he thinks about the five-interception game against Buffalo last season…

“What I think about is the bad decisions. It’s not the numbers, you can get past the numbers. Just like (with) the touchdowns this year, it doesn’t matter. If you take care of the ball, you have a chance. It’s important to be accurate, to go through my progressions like any other game and really master the game plan so we can cover all our bases and be ready to play.”

On what he has seen in the Buffalo defense…

“(They have) fast-flow linebackers. Their back end is really active. (They have) plenty of man-to-man to go around. We need to win our one-on-one matchups, so we’ll look forward to doing that and keeping our running game going. For Shonn (Greene) and LT (LaDainian Tomlinson), it will be a big game for them too, so they’ll be ready to pass protect and ready to run.”

On whether he feels like big things are expected from the team now…

“I don’t know. I think we put so much pressure on ourselves that any kind of external pressure doesn’t really get in this locker room. I feel like I’m expecting so much of Brick (D’Brickashaw Ferguson), Nick Mangold is expecting so much of me and the running backs want the ball on time. That’s just the way we are. It’s a demanding locker room here. That’s the way we want to be. We don’t want to let anyone down. It’s going to be 11 guys every play. We know that, so we’re just going to focus on us.”

On whether he has ever been more confident in his abilities…

“We’re feeling good as a team and that’s the most important thing. Me, personally, (I’ve) had a couple of good games in a row. My line to people around the building has been, ‘Hey, every trash can gets a steak,’ because I don’t want to buy into it. I don’t want to take the cheese. I told Dustin the same thing. I was messing with him. I said, ‘Hey, did you see your picture in the Post?’ He said, “Which one?” I said, ‘ No, the answer is no. Don’t like it. You can’t read it. It’s poison. Don’t look.’ No offense (joking). You have to be smart and take the praise with the criticism and you just have to stay level-headed. It’s tough, especially in a market like this. You guys are such good writers. It’s hard not to read (laughs).”

On his feelings after the five interceptions against Buffalo last season…

“It was like your dog died or something. It was the worst. Those games are hard. Those games are part of being a rookie and a part of making really bad decisions. That’s what can happen, and that still can happen. You’re not immune to that. You can start making bad decisions (and) you can easily throw five picks in this league, against anyone. I don’t care who it is, whether they are 0-3 or 3-0. We just need to be prepared for a tough environment and have to clean up mistakes from last week, those pre-snap penalties (and) a couple of holding calls. We need to really tighten those things up or they can get us.”

On what he learned from the Buffalo game last season…

“I think the most important thing (I learned) from that game last year is to be the same guy the next week and not change. It’s ok to be upset. You’re supposed to be upset because I care so much, and I think the guys know that. At the same time, you can’t let something like that affect the next week. You have to go out and play, (be) sharp (and) be the first guy in the building on Monday trying to correct everything. After a game like that, the most important thing to do is just wear it. There’s no excuses. You just take it. That’s part of learning.”

On how long that game stayed in the back of his mind…

“It’s one of those ones (games) that just kind of lingers because you’re going to have to play them again. They’re a divisional team. It’s one thing if you do it (against an) out of conference team. You play them one time and (say), ‘We’ll get them in a couple of years, or whatever. Maybe in the playoffs, we’ll get them again.’ Those guys, you had to see them a couple of weeks later and then, it was a pretty good game. We came back and won. It’s just hard. It’s one of those ones where you have to enforce the 24-hour rule, really badly.”

On what has worked so well for him the last two weeks…

“Most important has been no turnovers. There were a couple of close ones last week that I need to clean up, some decisions and throws that kind of got away from me. We lucked out. I’m not afraid to admit that. (We) got some bounces, and you need them in this league to win. The game before, against the Patriots, there wasn’t one really close to an interception. That’s the kind of game where it has to be, where it’s not even close. When we do that, we’re tough to beat that way, when we don’t turn it over.”

On the play where Kendall Langford almost intercepted his throw…

“It was a shovel pass and I tried to throw it up over him-terrible idea. I probably won’t do that ever again.”

On whether the pass was meant for Tomlinson…

“Yes, it was bad.”

On any good decisions he’s made specifically because of having learned from a previous mistake last season against Buffalo…

“There’s been a few of them this year. You would never know because they are supposed to be big plays down the field and I ended up checking it down. (Then you say,) ‘Ok, now we’re on second-and-five, or whatever.’ That second-and-five is so much better than an interception 30 yards down the field, and it’s happened countless times this year, already. That’s been huge.”

On whether he watched the tape of that Buffalo game this offseason…

“Oh, yeah. Well, we watched the interception reel, which is way too long for anybody. It was the worst. I had to sit there and watch it all with Schotty (Brian Schottenheimer). We just talked about (how) 12 of them out of 20, I think, were just bad decisions like, ‘Don’t throw them, take a sack, throw it away (or) check it down. (If) you have eight picks on the year, we’re rolling.’ That’s probably two more wins, at least. Eight of them were in two games, so it’s like, (if) you clean up a couple of decisions and don’t compound mistakes (with) multiple interception games, you have a chance. That’s been the difference, so far.”

On how the team handled him after the Buffalo game last season…

“After a game like that, there isn’t much to say. You get it cleaned up during the week, anyway. That’s one of those ones where I thought they handled things so well with me because that’s a game that your rookie year-quarterback psyche can get crushed if they don’t handle it the right way. I thought they did it the best way possible. They didn’t say much, just, “Hey, look, we’re sticking with you. You’re our guy. We have all the confidence in the world in you. Be the number five draft-pick overall that we picked. Be the leader we saw at USC. Be that guy, and you’ll be fine. You’ll never have a problem. We’ll win a lot of games that way.”

On what the common thread was in his mistakes last season…

“(I was) just forcing it. If it’s a deep ball, or looking for a big play, or (I would think), I (threw) an incompletion last play, or we really need to convert on this third-down. ‘Yeah, I can make this throw,’ or (you are) trusting your arm a little too much. You can’t do it, and as soon as you start to, that’s when you can hurt the team.”

On whether the offense is still a run-first offense…

“I think we’re pretty balanced. It’s similar to the offense and defensive teams. ‘What are we?’ I think there’s going to be games where one side needs to pick up the other. The last couple of weeks, we’ve thrown the heck out of the ball and done well with it. This could be the week, or it might not be, hopefully, it’s in the playoffs and we’re in a playoff game, and we have to rush for 300 yards in the cold, in the snow or something. That’s the way we feel. We want to be balanced, but I wouldn’t sleep on our running game. It’s pretty tough.”

On how big Dustin Keller has been these past two weeks…

“He’s done really well. He was one of the first ones to come out to California to throw. He was the first one to book his flight. As soon as I talked to him about it, (he said), “I’m there. What do you need?” That work we got in the offseason was huge. Now, he’s just trying to fine-tune it. He’s one of the first guys in the film room with me to watch third-down cutups. He’s talking through shifts and motions, “Ok, who’s going to line up on me? Why? What’s he doing? Who’s going to play this coverage? What’s the look that he’s going to get?” I was working on the side field with Dustin on the exact second touchdown (pass). (Mark) Brunell and Kellen (Clemens) playing (Bobby) Carpenter and Yeremiah Bell. This is exactly how they’re going to play it, be ready for it. We ran it four or five times. When we got to the game, that’s what happened. It was perfect. Everybody’s asking, “Wow, what a great pass, how’d you guys do it?” We did it on Wednesday and Thursday. That’s where it came from. It wasn’t just on Sunday and it just happened. It’s putting in a lot of time. He’s done a really good job and deserves a lot of credit.”

On if he knew Bobby Carpenter was going to fake a blitz…

“We had a good idea that could be one of their looks. We practiced it versus different looks too, but I threw the outside post to J-Co (Jerricho Cotchery). Those are the looks we need to be ready for. As soon as I got the snap and was done with the cadence, I was like, ‘Here we go. This is it.’ It worked out perfectly. It was an awesome catch.”

On there not being much of a window for Keller to get the ball…

“It was a good catch (laughter).”

On being calm despite distractions…

“I just try to eliminate those distractions. It could be something every week. We just try to be smart. We have to be pros about everything on and off the field. (We have to be smart about) who we’re hanging out with, especially when you start winning games. There are people out there who want to bring you down. Guys need to be cognizant of that because it can really hurt us. That’s just our big rule number one-protect the team. With everything you say or do, it’s most important. I don’t know if I’m holding it together or if anyone is, but we’re trying. It really is a good group. We just had an unlucky run there.”

On talking to other quarterbacks in the league that have had bad interception games…

“You kind of hear those stories, “I had a bad run in Jacksonville, I’ve had a bad run in wherever.” After that game, in my locker Mike Tannenbaum put a list of all quarterbacks who’ve thrown four or more interceptions in a game. Every great quarterback you can think of (was on the list): Steve Young, Troy Aikman,John Elway, Dan Marino, Joe Namath, Brett Favre. Everybody’s on that list. It’s not like you can’t come back from that. It’s not like your life is over even though it feels like it. Those stories go around and, hopefully, I don’t have any more.”

On having a tough second game against Buffalo…

“We’ve got a lot to prove. It’s good. They keep us hungry. Me personally, I want to go out and have a sharp game. If I play the way I have the past two weeks and getting help from everybody on the team on the offense and protecting the ball, we’ll have a chance.”

On this being his first trip to Ralph Wilson Stadium…

“This is a big matchup. They’re a New York team, too. A lot of people forget that. They sure don’t, and a lot of people in that stadium don’t. This is a big-time game. I’ve talked to Coach (Mike) Devlin, he knows first-hand from playing up there. When the Jets come to town, they want to beat us bad. There’s no better time for them to want a win than being 0-3 and we’re coming in for them. We just need to be that much better. I’ve said it every week, if we want to win on Sunday, we have to win today, we have to win tomorrow and we have to win on Friday in preparation. I think we’re good, we’re doing it in practice and we’ll go out and have a good day.”

This Article Was Written By Tyson Rauch

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