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Mark Sanchez Interview Transcript 8/18/11

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

On what the ideal time is to lift weights…

I don’t know. We’ve done it in the morning. We’ve done it after practice. I think if it’s an upper body lift, I’d probably prefer it after practice. I don’t really like throwing right after we lift upper body. If it’s lower body, legs and stuff, then you can do it pretty much anytime.

On lifting at 5:30 am with Santonio Holmes after they got back from Houston…

I felt like we didn’t play as much as we usually do in a regular game. I’m starting to get where I want to be in good game shape. As soon as we got home, I just took a quick nap on the plane, I was ready to go. Then, I ran a little bit in the indoor (facility), just some shuttle runs and stuff to stay in shape. Our strength coach Bill (Hughan) was nice enough to stay and he said, “It’s no problem. If you want to lift, go right ahead.”

On whether he is working on throwing left-handed after throwing a left-handed pass to Santonio Holmes during walk-thru…

No, that’s walk-thru.

On if he thinks he is in the elite class of quarterbacks…

I think that’s for other people to debate. I know my skill set and I know I’m getting better. Once we win a Super Bowl, then maybe I’ll have an opinion on that, but until then, we’re just trying to win games.

On having Plaxico Burress for a full practice yesterday…

It’s great. Just getting his legs back under him, he looked great. His ankle looked good. That’s a big target. He looked great in one-on-ones. He did well in team drills, so he’s coming along well. We just want to keep progressing. With him, Tone (Holmes), D-Mase (Derrick Mason) and Dustin (Keller) at tight end, that’s a good looking receiver group.

On what progress he wants to see from himself this year…

I think one of the offseason goals was really just my completion percentage and that alone is going to keep drives alive. It’s going to convert for us in the red zone. It’s going to get more touchdowns instead of field goals. It’ll help us on third down. You put all those together and we can have a home playoff game. Looking at the film from last year, especially in the playoffs, Coach Schottenheimer and Coach Cavanaugh said, “I can’t believe you were a 54 percent passer last year. Man, 54 percent? That’s no good.” We need to complete more balls. I need to. That’s been the focus and we got off to a good start against Houston, so that was nice, but I think that’s been the main focus.

On being more experienced to handle several talented and accomplished receivers…

I think putting more on a third-year quarterback’s shoulders, being able to throw the ball is nice, so we have more chances to get the ball to receivers. The other thing is just completing more passes and guys get more catches. That’s just the way it works, so that’s important. I think these guys understand what we’re here for. They understand our goal and our mentality, and it doesn’t matter who has the most catches, who has the most yards or who has the most touchdowns. We’re all in this thing together and we want to be balanced on offense, and these guys understand that, so it’ll be somebody new everyday.

On facing Darrelle Revis in practice everyday…

I can’t say it’s fun. It’s competitive. He’s just a tough player. He’s nasty, man. He’s so sharp. He reads routes so well. He can react so well. His instincts are probably the best in the league, so it’s great practice for me. They keep saying, “The Revis rule, the Revis rule.” Me, that’s my chance to try and get after him in practice. That’s when I can see what you can try to fit in, what you can get by with and there’s not much. He keeps you sharp. He keeps you accurate and when you’re not, he’ll make you pay.

On whether the Revis rule is not to throw his way…

That’s what they would like it to be. I take short vacations to Revis Island when I can and try and get out of there as quick as I can.

On the difference between training camp in Florham Park and training camp in Cortland…

The food (joking). The football side, everything has gone well. Everything has gone smooth. We have the best facility in the league, so there is no problem staying here. Guys are getting treatment. Guys are coming back from injuries immediately and being able to work out in our weight room with our machines that they just purchased for Bill’s strength program, and that’s huge. I thought everything has gone smoothly. We know where everything is. We know where the cafeteria is and we’re fed great food the whole time. It’s been a smooth camp.

On getting away from the grind of training camp…

When you get an off day or your family is in town or your family comes to practice, you have time to get a bite to eat, whereas in Cortland, you didn’t really have that luxury. This is nice to stay home, somewhere we are familiar with, and it’s gone really well.

On whether he thinks the quarterback has to be a dominant personality in the locker room for a team to be successful…

No question, that’s (my) goal and it’s growing every day. I’m getting more and more comfortable each day, with each season. Reads and progressions seem to come with ease (and) the game starts to slow down. You really start to understand the dynamic of the locker room when it’s time to say something in front of the offense, when you need to grab a couple of guys on defense and (say), ‘Hey, talk to your guys about this”, when to pump somebody up or when to stay quiet, when to put your head down to work and lead by example. It’s been something natural for me and it’s been a natural progression, but I think that’s the reason Rex made me captain early in the offseason, or as soon as we got back from (the) lockout, because he knew the kind of work I put in and he knew I was ready for that role.

On whether he was ready to be a leader last year…

I think I was getting there, but you need to, at least, establish yourself on the team first. I think when the team saw how I reacted to almost getting benched, how I reacted (to the) shoulder injury, it’s just not in my nature to kind of bow out from something like that. I’m not going down without trying to play, and they saw that. They saw my energy and my fire. They saw me elevate my play in the playoffs. That helps you establish yourself on this team, and that’s the most important thing. On a national scale, that’s for people to debate and that’s fine. As long as these guys understand what I’m all about. I think you have to do that first.

On whether he has always enjoyed being a leader…

I think so. It’s come pretty natural. When you’re young and you’re on a field trip and you’re the first one in line or you hold the door for somebody when you’re younger and all the kids come into class, that’s just kind of the way it’s been. With my dad, especially, we’d have a little league banquet and you’d give the coach an award. He’d make me go on a stage like this and say thank you to the coach in front of the team and say something to him and present his gift certificate to wherever and the trophy or a plaque or something. That’s kind of the way I grew up and that’s all I’ve ever really known.

On what the teasing about the GQ article has been like…

The hazing, I knew, would come. It’s fun for the guys. It’s for me because they know I can take it. The best part about the GQ shoot (is) we didn’t say too much about it. I’m still learning about this kind of stuff, how exactly they release things. I didn’t know if the magazine just comes out and then they could explain where it came from or they start teasing little bits of the article and that’s what they did. The next thing I know, I’m in a 12-round bout with Rex here. When we heard about the opportunity, we wanted it to be more than just a modeling shoot. So, we partnered with Hugo Boss, who gave us the clothes for the cover. They provided those. We are partnering with Tuesday’s Children, which is a charity organization for the staff of 9/11, for youngsters who lost their families, parents and guardians in the tragedy. We’re nearing the decade (anniversary), so we figured the September issue would be great. We’re going to have a little event September 2, before the first game. Basically, Hugo Boss is going to help us with that and donate all the proceeds to Tuesday’s Children. Sure, it was fun. The photo shoot was great. We got to show off the new stadium and it’s going to help people that desperately need it.

On if he tries to balance the personal recognition that he gets with the team’s goals…

Absolutely, as much as you’re the face of the franchise and this organization, you need to deflect a lot of that. I felt, especially when it comes to football, when things don’t go right, I’ll take ownership immediately. When things go well, there’s a lot of reasons why they went well, not just me. So I think that’s the most important thing. I think when it comes to extra-curricular stuff, when you can absorb some of that spotlight and then start to deflect it on maybe something outside of the team like a charity organization, then it works. Then it’s not just, hey let me put on some tight white pants and go take a bunch of pictures. That’s not all it was, believe it or not. Some of the guys were surprised.

On Plaxico being available for the Cincinnati game…

I think we want to establish ourselves and our tempo early like we did last game. The sack in the red zone, there’s no excuse for that. I’ll take ownership for that one. Having him back, we want to get him involved as soon as we can. (We’ll) see how he plays, see how he feels with some full speed action and understand that it’s just preseason so not to run him into the ground and make sure that we’re complementing him with plenty of Derrick Mason and Dustin (Keller) and LT (LaDainian Tomlinson) and Shonn (Greene) and all of our guys, Santonio, getting everybody rolling. Establishing our tempo was important last game, getting off to a good start with completions. That’s the same goal.

On the injury to Rob Turner…

Losing Rob definitely hurts our depth at line. But it also provides a huge opportunity for Vladimir (Ducasse) and this could be a big year for him. God forbid any of those guys go down, hopefully we have Ducasse there to pick up the slack. He’s coming along and showing really good flashes of being a dominant lineman. If anybody can get him to be one of the best, it’s Coach Callahan. So we’ll hopefully keep guys healthy. I think our strength coaches and our training staff know that. They’re taking care of our guys and their bodies and we want these guys for the long haul, so we’ll be just fine.

This Article Was Written By Tyson Rauch

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