Jet News Player interviews

Mark Sanchez interview transcript 12/22/10

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

On how important it is for the team to start playing their best…

“We definitely want to peak at the right time. I think last week was a step in the right direction. We took care of the football, ran the ball really well and our defense played well, especially at the end when we needed them the most. It was a good step, but it’s important to hit our stride right here at the end of the season and get a little momentum, but it’s not going to be easy because we’re playing a really good Chicago team.”

On how he is feeling…

“(I feel) good. I felt good at practice today. They kept me limited, just to be smart, but if we were playing today, I’m definitely in there. I feel good and I’ll be ready for Sunday.”

On how he felt playing with his injured shoulder during the Pittsburgh game…

“We just talked about it on the sidelines and kept it warm. Rex (Ryan) challenged us last week, so there was no way, me being as competitive as I am, I was coming out. It was one of the best games we’ve played as an offense all year, so I’m glad I stayed in and could help contribute.”

On whether Coach Ryan’s media attention will be a distraction to the team…

“(It is) definitely not a distraction. It’s a personal matter with Rex, but we’re behind him 100 percent and it won’t affect our team.”

On if he feels badly that Coach Ryan is in this position at the end of the season…

“It’s not my position to say, but I totally support him. He’s our coach. We’ll rally behind him and it won’t affect us at all.”

On Coach Ryan being a large part of the team’s success this season…

“As a franchise, potentially, I think we could be the third team in franchise history to make it (to) back-to-back playoffs. We have a tough test this week and another one next week, so it’s important we rally behind him when he needs us.”

On if he is using Pittsburgh and Chicago as a measuring stick for the playoffs…

“Each week is a measuring stick, I feel like. The couple of weeks before the Steelers game, we hadn’t played our best and it showed in all the stats and the final score. This is going to be a good test for us, just like the Steelers were. We could see either of these teams again in the playoffs, so we need to take these experiences with us and these are as close to playoff game as you get. We’ll take them seriously and we’ll prepare really well.”

On how his shoulder is feeling…

“(It is) very good. (I) practiced well today, was limited, just as a precaution and (I’ll) be ready to go for Sunday.”

On if being limited will hinder his preparation for Sunday…

“Not at all, I took quite a few reps, just mentally. (I) went through all the footwork and was in there on every running play. I even got a couple of throws in, so it felt good and I’ll be ready to go.”

On if he went to the team and asked to have the MRI done on his shoulder…

“It was just a precautionary MRI and I’m very pleased with the results. I’ll be ready to go for Sunday. I felt good in practice. (I) felt like I could have done more and they’re just holding me back to be smart. (We’ll) take it from there, but if we were playing today, I’d play.”

On if he mostly just handed the ball off in practice today…

“I got a couple of throws in (during) limited stuff, but you missed it. As soon as you left, I was launching them (joking).”

On if he felt pain during the Pittsburgh game…

“I don’t know. My head was in another place. I was focused on the game. I wanted to rise to the challenge that Rex gave us as an offense and as long as I can contribute, there was no way I was coming out.”

On if there was any reason why he seemed subdued after the win at Pittsburgh…

“It was a huge win. It’s just (that), it doesn’t stop there. I was really proud of our guys and I feel the same way right now. I’m happy about the win, but we have to move on and we have another tough test. You just can’t get too excited because we have another tough one.”

On why the team plays so well on the road…

“I feel like we have a great routine the night before. We get in, bed-check is early (and) guys are focused in the hotel. We know when we go on the road, we have a little less time here at the facility so we have to get our prep in early. It’s just, I think we have a great routine, so that’s everyone involved and I’m just proud of the way we play on the road.”

On if he would play if he was limited in practice all week…

“No, I’m playing. If we played today, I’m playing.”

On how important it is to him to get a full practice in before the game…

“I should be able to do that. I’m being safe about it and I’m in for the long haul. We have, hopefully, six (or) seven weeks left, or whatever it is, and I want to make it through all those weeks. I know I can with our trainers, with (Head Trainer) John Mellody, and the rehab stuff we have going on there, helping me feel good. I’ll do my best to get a full practice in, but if not, I’ll be ready to play.”

On when he knew that he hurt his shoulder…

“It was pretty early in the game, but it just was one of those things where I tried to stay warm and did everything I could on the sidelines to not let anything tighten up.”

On if he noticed during the game he hurt his shoulder…

“Sure.”

On if he hurt his shoulder the first time he ran the ball on Sunday…

“I think so. (I) just fell funny and it just didn’t feel right, but I felt good throwing on the sidelines and then, once you get in the game, your energy and your adrenaline kind of takes over and I felt like I could still help the team, so I didn’t want to come out.”

On the team overcoming obstacles to be on the verge of the playoffs…

“This is a huge stepping stone for us, a big hurdle this week and I feel like our team plays the best when we’re kind of backed up against the wall. That’s when we played our best last year. We know what’s at stake this year and we want to make it to the playoffs. That’s our goal, just make it to the playoffs now, just make it to the dance and we’ll take it as a new season from there. This is our first challenge this week against a very tough Chicago team. They have great fans. I know they’ll be ready to play. (They have) three perennial Pro Bowlers in their front-seven and a back end that might be tied or top-three or something for the most picks in the league, so it’s one of the best teams we’ll play and it’s going to be like that from here on out.”

On how important it is for him to build off how he played on Sunday…

“Everything that we talked about the last few weeks, everything that got us to our nine wins early in the season (and) that powered us through the playoffs last year (we did). (It was) taking care of the ball, using the right footwork, getting rid of the ball when things aren’t right, not having negative plays, knowing the down and distance. I think it was Miami, where I tried to throw a ball scrambling close to field goal range, and I threw it high for Santonio (Holmes). This week, I run it a little closer and Nick Folk hits a chip shot for three points. Those kinds of things, you never want it to happen against Miami, but once it’s happened, you want to learn from it. I think everybody made those strides last week, so it was great.”

On last week reinforced his faith in the offense’s ability…

“Absolutely, it was just a great feeling knowing that it’s there, knowing that we should be able to do that every week. I’m happy it all worked out. The running game really took off. That was Wayne Hunter’s first start, (and) the guy plays awesome. We’re going to need him, and even more this week, so he’s ready for the challenge. It seemed like it was like that with every guy on offense and then the defense, as usual, played great.”

On how important it is to control their own destiny and to clinch before next week…

“That’s all we could ask for right now and we know it’s not going to be an easy game. There’s not going to be an easy one from here on out. To control your own destiny, win and you’re in, with a week left in the season, that would be the ultimate goal for us now and it’s attainable. If we prepare the right way, if we put together the right game plan like we did last week, we’ll be ready to play and, hopefully, win.”

On how much of a motivation it is to win this week and silence the critics…

“Once you make it in the playoffs, it’s a whole new season and we’re looking at it that way. It doesn’t matter how many losses you had in the regular season. We feel like once we get in, we’re going to be a tough team to play against and matchup with. We need to play our best football and it starts Sunday. It starts with me taking care of the football, taking command, starting off right, getting completions early, getting the ball out of my hand (and) letting our playmakers work because it worked last week. We’ll get the running game going, hopefully, against a tough front-seven and we’ll control our own destiny if things go right.”

On if he could be 100 percent on Sunday…

“I’m planning on (playing), whether I am or not. I’m in there. I’m playing, that’s all there is to it and I have to be on the field. That’s what I’m here for and that’s what I’m going to do.”

On whether the offensive line is beginning to peak…

“I think all of us kind of have, and it’s only one game. This is going to be another good test. You could see the sense of urgency as we were running to the line. It just looked different when you watched the film. I saw Brandon (Moore), Meat, driving guys off the ball, 10, 12 yards down-the-field and that’s his deal. That’s what he can do (every play), and he knows that. It was great to kind of see that kind of fire again from everybody. We keep playing like that, and taking care of the ball, we’ll be just fine.”

On how much he has to rely on mental reps in practice when he is physically limited…

“It’s important to (rely on mental reps). I’m giving the calls to the other quarterbacks, I’m repeating it in my head (and) I’m doing the footwork off to the side. In between, we’re playing (what) we call invisible football and I’m out there. Cav (Coach Matt Cavanaugh) is telling me, as I’m dropping back, what read, what progression, “Throw it away,” “Run,” “Tuck it” (and) little things, “Change your play,” “Audible,” “What’s your check here?” It’s intense (because) we try to make it as game-like as possible and I stole a couple of reps in there throwing, which is kind of my personality. I wanted to feel it out and it felt good.”

On if Coach Ryan taking him out of practice for a few snaps at practice angered him…

“He knows that we have an understanding that I don’t always agree with him. It’s personal to me (the starting job) and I think he knows that. I think the guys on the team know that. I don’t care if it’s a handoff or a Wildcat play, I want to be in the game. That’s just the way I feel. I’m possessive about this job, so we had a little talk about it, but it’s good. We’re both competitive, so it was good. I think part of it was a psychological thing just to kind of test me a little bit, so we’re good.”

On if it was a heated talk with Coach Ryan…

“I don’t know. I wouldn’t say that. It was a good talk.”

On the understanding that him and Coach Ryan have that they sometimes disagree with each other…

“Last week, he knows I disagreed with coming out, that’s all.”

This Article Was Written By Tyson Rauch

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