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Sanchez Has a Grip on the Ball, the Situation

Posted by Randy Lange on January 13, 2010 – 12:12 pm

Mark Sanchez was asked Tuesday about his feelings of being in the NFL postseason along with the big-name quarterbacks such as Peyton Manning and Drew Brees.

"And Philip Rivers," he added of his Chargers counterpart, before stating, "It’s pretty cool. It’s great. But at the same time you don’t want to just be there. Just like those guys, they don’t want to be mentioned with all the other players you just mentioned — they want to win it, just like I do."

How would Sanchez feel about being lumped in with QBs Matt Moore and Jake Plummer? Actually, that’s a cool thing, too, because Moore, who finished up the season replacing Jake Delhomme as Carolina’s QB, and Plummer, Denver’s QB in 2005, are the last two NFL signalcallers to achieve what Sanchez and the Jets will be trying to do Sunday in sunny San Diego: go four games without turning the ball over once.

The Jets rookie is already among a handful of QBs since 2002 to go three games without a giveaway. But four in a row? As we mentioned Monday, the Jets have done that only once in their history, early in the 2001 season. They went 3-1 in those games, Plummer’s Broncos went 4-0 in his flawless stretch, and Moore’s Panthers closed strong at 3-1.

"I think I’ve gotten better with it," Sanchez said when asked if it was a struggle for him to realize he had to give up giveaways to be successful in the NFL. "I’ve got a lot of work to do. I don’t want to feel like I’ve got everything covered and I’ve figured it out. I just think that working to eliminate turnovers has really helped. We’ll just keep going from there."

The numbers say he has figured things out. In the first 10 games he personally turned the ball over 19 times (16 interceptions, three fumbles), 1.9 a game. But in the last six games his personal turnovers have dropped to four, or 0.7 game.

The team performance in turnover margin is equally dramatic: a minus-6 margin in the Jets’ 4-6 start, a plus-9 in the current 6-1 run into the playoffs.

The no-gift trend is perhaps part of a larger issue with Sanchez, which is that he’s become comfortable enough to even give his two cents’ worth on the sideline, such as when he jumped into the fray with head coach Rex Ryan and OC Brian Schottenheimer at the AFC Wild Card Game in Cincinnati when he didn’t like the timeout the coaches called from the sideline.

"It was one of those situations where I felt so good and so comfortable, and then we stopped everything. I was like ‘Man, why the heck did you do that?’ " Sanchez said. "It’s all right, though. They knew I was into the game in the heat of the moment. Obviously nothing is personal. We’re all trying to win, so it was fine."

"He was ready to lead that team. That’s who he is," said Ryan. "When we called that timeout, it was so funny. He was mad. I said, ‘All right kid, you’re not head coach yet.’ But he’s ready to roll."

"Now I just feel more comfortable," the QB said. "It’s easier, I guess, to start yelling."

As long as the yelling is over the next victory and not the football that the offense just turned over to the other guys, Jets fans will be all right with that.

Leon Can’t Wait

Leon Washington is sharing in the limelight of the Jets’ postseason locker room, as he should, and Tuesday he had some great news that could impact on the team’s quest for the next postseason — he expects to be on the field for the Jets’ season opener in 2010.

"Everything’s looking on the up and up and I’m looking forward to when I can start jogging," Washington told reporters. "I’ve got a long way until the season starts. I’m on pace to be there for the opening game of the season, so I just try to not push myself too much."

Washington, who broke his leg in the first quarter of Game 7 at Oakland, was given a timetable of six months to 12 months to heal. He said recently he’s been hitting his rehab targets every week.

And who can forget Leon coming out of the tunnel at the regular-season finale at the current Meadowlands stadium on crutches, then waving the crutches up and down to the roar of the crowd, as if he was ready to fly back into this season.

"It’s tough because I feel like I could be out there and doing something to help us be better," he said Tuesday. "It’s definitely fun to watch from a fan perspective, though."

For word on Washington’s NFL PLAYERS Fantasy ’09 championship, click here.

Draft Twist

It’s too soon to be worrying about the NFL Draft. But we thought we’d mention a change in the draft that will affect the Jets, and we’re not talking about the event being stretched over three days for the first time.

Procedures for establishing first-round draft order have been redesigned. In the past, you’ll recall, all teams with the same regular-season records were bunched in the same "segment," with playoff teams dropping to the bottom of the segment. So under the procedures of previous years, the Jets and Ravens, both at 9-7, would have dropped to 21st and 22nd this year regardless of how far they went in the postseason.

But for the first time, playoff teams have been taken out of those segments and put in their own playoff sections. By that I mean slots 1-20 go to the teams that didn’t make the playoffs, 21-24 to the Wild Card Round losing teams, 25-28 to the Divisional Round losing teams, and 29-30 to the Championship Game losing teams.

Since the Jets have already advanced to the AFC Divisional Round, the earliest their first-round pick could come on Thursday night, April 22 (the new date for Round 1) is 25th, which is where they would select if they were to lose at San Diego on Sunday. (They would be 25th regardless of which other teams would lose this weekend based on their 9-7 record.)

A win on Sunday and a loss in the AFC title game would mean the Jets would pick 29th. Make the Super Bowl and the Green & White would be choosing 31st or 32nd.

The latest top pick the Jets have had in any draft came in 1969, the year after they won Super Bowl III, when they went 26th and last and selected Ohio State OT Dave Foley, no relation that we’re aware of to one of the Kids in the Hall.


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Posted in Randy Lange | 39 Comments »


39 Responses to “Sanchez Has a Grip on the Ball, the Situation”

  1. By Frankie on Jan 13, 2010 | Reply

    Sanchez is going to be a great QB. I WANT TO GIVE A BIG SHOUT OUT TO SCHOTTY. THANKS FOR CHOOSING TO STAY WITH US FOR AT LEAST ANOTHER YEAR!!!! YOUR THE MAN… STAND UP GUY… LETS GO JETS!!!!!

  2. By Ira on Jan 13, 2010 | Reply

    Turnovers are usually the difference in teams winning and losing. And like Randy wrote since the Jets are on their 6-1 run those #’s don’t lie. Hope Sanchez can continue his streak. Oh how i would love to get that #31 or 32 nd pick in the draft. No worries. Trader Mike will go get his man if there is somebody they want. GO JETS!!!!

  3. By Ira on Jan 13, 2010 | Reply

    7 of Rivers 9 picks have all come on the right side of the field. Rivers beware you are entering Revis Island. Hope after Sunday Rivers will be going to the Islands for a vacation after the Jets win.

  4. By dougmc on Jan 13, 2010 | Reply

    Sanchez will be a star in this league in the very near future, hopefully whithin the next month of football.I think the growing pains are over and all the throws are there.The outs to J-Co were right on the money.The drop by Edwards is inexcusable.Keller is a stud and Clowney and Smith are diamonds in the rough so far.Let,s add picking 32nd in draft after victory parade to Rex’s itinerary! J-E-T-S

  5. By Howie D on Jan 13, 2010 | Reply

    I’m so glad to hear that Leon Washington is doing well. My son wears his jersey. He’s a great guy who we root for – on and off the field. We’re fortunate to have him, another big-time player! Thanks, Leon, and all the very best to you.

  6. By originaljetfan on Jan 13, 2010 | Reply

    Well hope theres still a goop player at the 32nd pick, cause thats where I,m planning on picking!! get a top flight d-lineman and I,ll be happy as a clam, throw in a great o-line prospect and this team is the partiots of the 2010–2019!! Multiple Superbowls and multiple wins!

  7. By kk,., on Jan 13, 2010 | Reply

    we need a speed rusher

  8. By Jeremy on Jan 13, 2010 | Reply

    Very very happy to hear Leon is ahead of schedule, just hope the JETS do the right thing and pay the man. Sanchez has improved over the season and seems to have figured out how to win-hope it continues. On a side note, I hate Skip Bayless, but he is on board w/ Revis getting snubbed and knows more about football then I thought! Hope Schotty continues to call an excellent game and plays!

  9. By 36 year fan on Jan 13, 2010 | Reply

    Just heard Big Kris Jenkins on ESPN radio . Sounding confident in our Jets. He said we are the best team in it right now. And I believe him. He and I think we are going the distance.

  10. By 36 year fan on Jan 13, 2010 | Reply

    We are Unstoppable.

  11. By 36 year fan on Jan 13, 2010 | Reply

    Thursday on “full color football” hosted by John Madden , on NFL network . They have the story of The AFL and their greatest story THE MIRACLE NEW YORK JETS. Another good omen,… I think on the timing . The stars are all aligned it seems.

  12. By 36 year fan on Jan 13, 2010 | Reply

    …….The Meek shall inherit The Earth.

  13. By ken manne on Jan 13, 2010 | Reply

    We have so many years of bad luck saved up, maybe it can all come back in one year. A home Championship game! DREAM ON!

  14. By 36 year fan on Jan 13, 2010 | Reply

    Keller ,….. LIT…. IT….UP….. like Tony Gonzalez on drugs !!! …Unstoppable.

  15. By 36 year fan on Jan 13, 2010 | Reply

    Leon Washington came out like Little Tiny Tim at the end of A Christmas Carroll . When he lifted those crutches ,….there wasn’t a dry eye. Emotional.

  16. By scjoe on Jan 13, 2010 | Reply

    So, the Jets lose out on two fronts, they pick later in the first round then they would have, and they can not sign any free agents unless they lose one first. But that is OK, getting Leon and Jenkins back will be even better then any FA out there that will be available.

  17. By scjoe on Jan 13, 2010 | Reply

    Randy, it has been my contention that the kick and punt coverage has declined since the trade that sent Trusnik to Cleveland. Do you have any stats that bear this out, one way or another?

  18. By Randy Lange on Jan 13, 2010 | Reply

    scjoe, in the first four games of the season, the Jets held opponents to 7.4 yards on punt returns (5-37) and 21.9 yards on kickoff returns (15-329). After Jason Trusnik was traded, in the last 13 games, the Jets held opponents to 9.0 on PR (25-224) and 24.7 on KR (60-1,484).

  19. By Ira on Jan 13, 2010 | Reply

    scjoe,
    You are right on. I have been saying that for weeks now that since Izzo got hurt and Trusnik got hurt the coverage teams have just not been the same. Also i think Murrell should’ve been playing ST’s besides.

  20. By Ray on Jan 13, 2010 | Reply

    It is hilarious how many Bolts fans are coming in here and sound surprised that we are talking like we can win the game. Hey, Bolts fans, if you want to hear a bunch of pro Charger talk go to YOUR website…..oh yeah, your sites stink and you can’t chat it up on them like you can here! One thing is certain, after sunday you’ll either be in here yappin it up or we’ll never see you again.

  21. By Ray on Jan 13, 2010 | Reply

    Just a quick note on those KR numbers though Randy. Obviously we had a horrendous ST game against Miami. If you take away those two Ted Ginn returns then on the other 58 we averaged around 22 yards a return which is about where we were before we traded Trusnik.

  22. By theonlytruejetsfaninL.A. on Jan 13, 2010 | Reply

    I live in Los Angeles and I a big JETS Fan. I would like to say that no one seems to be giving J-Co his props on the win last week. He made some hellva catches. I’m out here letting them have it on the blogs in the newspaper in san diego. Jets fans, go to their site http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/sports/ and let them know that we are for real.

  23. By scionce on Jan 13, 2010 | Reply

    your last paragraph made no sense, “The earliest that the Jets have spent their top pick in any draft was in 1969, the year after they won Super Bowl III.” didn’t they use a no. 1 overall on keyshawn johnson and a no. 4 overall on both brick and dewayne robertson and no. 6 on gholston and kyle brady at no. 9? don’t all of those choices come well before (read: much earlier than) the 26th overall?

  24. By Christopher on Jan 13, 2010 | Reply

    Randy, I meant to ask this before now, but that last game at the meadowlands, the TV broadcast didn’t show any of the halftime show. Is there any way to post video of that halftime? Leon Washington is a class guy, can’t wait to have him back. Go Jets, make us proud!!!!!

  25. By Randy Lange on Jan 13, 2010 | Reply

    Ray, you are correct. The numbers both pre- and post-Trusnik/Edwards trade are small samples that can be skewed by a couple of bad plays or a couple of great plays. All I know is that this is a big game for the Jets’ kickoff cover team, which has given up returns of 38, 36, 53 and 56 yards the last three games and needs to contain Darren Sproles.

  26. By Randy Lange on Jan 13, 2010 | Reply

    scionce, that should have read “the latest the Jets have spent their top pick in any draft.” The confusion is understandable.

  27. By Randy Lange on Jan 13, 2010 | Reply

    Christopher, the video was up several days after the game. It is on our multimedia page under 2009 Jets TV. Here is the address: http://www.newyorkjets.com/news/multimedia/video/2002-2009-week-17-jets-vs-bengals-alumni-halftime-show

  28. By the real t.o. on Jan 13, 2010 | Reply

    we miss u LW and we wouldnt be here without u bro. uve inspired so many fans with the explosiveness and ferocity that u burst upon the ny football scene with and we re awaiting your speedy return as a defending championship team!! im on the bus with rex and havent doubted him for a second. ill admit sanchez scared me at first but boy has he come around. ground and pound 2 MIA!! go jets!!!

  29. By theonlytruejetsfaninL.A. on Jan 13, 2010 | Reply

    Randy,
    Can you let us know how many more years Revis has on his current deal? Seems like I remember reading that he could opt out this after this year. I know the Jets will pay him, but before I spend another $250 plus shipping on his jersey, (I’d purchased a Curtis Martin jersey a couple of years ago) I want to be sure he will be here for the long haul.

  30. By scjoe on Jan 13, 2010 | Reply

    Thanks for those stats Randy, and let’s not forget those two big forced fumbles by Trusnik on coverage either. Sproles on both KRs and PRs this week will be one of the keys to beating this team.

  31. By Randy Lange on Jan 13, 2010 | Reply

    theonlytruejetsfan — can I call you that for short? — I don’t get involved in contract stuff. But after the season is over, there will be stories on who can become a free agent and who can’t, here on newyorkjets.com and in the newspapers covering the team.

  32. By commentman on Jan 13, 2010 | Reply

    Its going to be an awesome game, Lets go Jets!!!!!!!!

  33. By Darrick Baxter on Jan 13, 2010 | Reply

    Randy!!!!

    Hey, Darrick Baxter from Winnipeg here! My upset pick is the J.E.T.S. Jets! Their going to win, not because of skill but becuase of shear will. Their so green under the ears that they dont even know good the Chargers are – and I DIG THAT ABOUT THEM!

    dbax

  34. By Ray on Jan 14, 2010 | Reply

    Of course your right Randy, even though the numbers sans the Ginn returns are about the same, I have been scared to death of the return game ever since that game. It seems like we stop guys most of the time, then they’ll break one right up the middle for big yards. I almost have to cover my eyes everytime we kick off!!

  35. By MIKE on Jan 14, 2010 | Reply

    I’d like to shout out to a player by the name of David Harris. Revis is getting a boat load of love right now and he deserves it. However our stud in the middle has turned into a top 5 MLB in my opinion. That had to of been our best draft class with hitting on our first two picks. He is a beast in the middle and is a great all around playmaker. Alos draft DL this year, we are good but old

  36. By Ablity on Jan 14, 2010 | Reply

    ITS scary how the bengals was able to run all over us. yes our guys missed tackle but we were getting beat at the point of attact. we missed jinkins in that game. if the charger can run on us. its going to be hard to beat them. by the way we sign Revis to a 6 year 40 million i think his rookie year. so we have him for 3 more years after this year and i dont see how we dont resign him anyways

  37. By Ablity on Jan 14, 2010 | Reply

    i think TJ is a free agent this offseason. its going to be interesting to see what they do with him. cause if they resign him them they are going to have 3 real good back to play next year. how do you do keep all of them in the game. i think we should let him go. and have something like the panters have. leon is fast than jones and green is stronger than jones and they are both younger

  38. By Row on Jan 14, 2010 | Reply

    TJ is still signed through next year, but for like half a mil. He has lots of carries left. He keeps getting better, you guys are nuts!

  39. By JettMadogg on Jan 16, 2010 | Reply

    Sanchez is a rookie, dont let him do too much. Defense and running games is what wins for Jets. Jones wont be resigned, Greene is just too young and too good and they sure aint letting W.ashington go, Imagine Greene as a starter? the guy would be leading the NFL in rushing Theirs a young ball in the coral, his name is Greene.

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