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Esiason Likes Direction Sanchez Is Heading

Posted by Eric Allen on June 24, 2010 – 11:01 am

As a rookie, Mark Sanchez helped lead the New York Jets to an improbable AFC Championship appearance, elevating his game in the postseason. And former Jets signalcaller Boomer Esiason believes that rise is set to continue in September.

“This is usually where the players make their biggest jump and I suspect, with Mark’s personality and the way he handled the downturns last year, he’ll be ready to roll,” Boom told me this week before the 15th annual Empire Challenge kicked off at Hofstra’s Shuart Stadium. “I sense an air of confidence about him this offseason. Everything I’ve read and every interview I’ve seen him do leads me to believe he’s ready to take that next step.”

In 15 regular-season games, Sanchez completed 53.8 percent of his passes with 12 touchdowns and 20 interceptions. But in three postseason contests he upped his accuracy, hitting on 60.3 percent of his balls with four touchdowns and two picks.

“Now what that next step will be will be determined by how comfortable he gets with his new wide receivers, how good he feels with his young running back and really how the offensive line plays,” Esiason said. “I think he really should be able to lead the Jets back to the playoffs — and who knows, maybe even the Super Bowl.”

Jets Nation is at a fever pitch. Excitement has reached an unprecedented level because New York’s AFC representative has assembled one of its most talented rosters in franchise history.

Esiason, who played three of his 14 NFL seasons with the Green & White, said that if he were a fan, "I’m excited about Rex Ryan and I love the fact that he brings a new intensity to the football team. I love the fact that you have the best defense in football. I think it’s only going to get better. I love their draft picks. There is a lot to be excited about.

"I don’t necessarily know if Jets fans have been this excited since 1999 when Bill Parcells was ready to take them all the way to the AFC Championship Game. This is going to be a fun year for the Jets. But I also know, like every other team, there are issues that have to be handled before the season starts.”

Esiason, who serves as the popular co-host on a morning radio show on WFAN in New York, doesn’t point to problems on the field. He believes the Jets have made a couple of risky offseason moves and there is also all the well-publicized news on the contract front.

“I think they did a lot of good things in the offseason. They were very careful how they spent their money, brining in Antonio Cromartie and Santonio Holmes. Even though those guys have character issues, I think Mike Tannenbaum sensed he could get really good players for a cheap price," Boomer said.

"But he still has problems in that locker room. I don’t care what anybody says. When you let go of guys like Alan Faneca and Thomas Jones and Leon Washington, people are starting to worry in that locker room, ‘What’s going to happen to me next?’ And now you have guys that are chirping about new contracts and you have a potential CBA issue coming up. There are things you have to get over with and I’m not so sure those things are positive at this present time.”

But Esiason is nothing but positive on Sanchez. What kind of advice would he give the SoCal sensation before he starts up his sophomore campaign?

“I think, with the exception of maybe a few blips along the way, that he handled everything beautifully, and I would expect the maturity — he’s still only 23 years old — will be distinctly evident from where he was last year at this time,” Boomer said. “Let the game come to you, don’t force the issue. You have a lot of good players around you, you have a great coach and you have a great supporting cast. So he’ll be fine.”

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Posted in Eric Allen | 26 Comments »

26 Responses to “Esiason Likes Direction Sanchez Is Heading”

  1. By Ira on Jun 24, 2010 | Reply

    Boomer hit on a lot of different things but he is right. This is the most anticipated season since 99. What i am looking for in the next step for sanchez to take his game to the next level is cutting down on his turnovers. And with the addition of LT and drafting McNight that should help Sanchez from throwing some ill advised passes. Team chemistry? Sure it remains to be seen but i think between Rex and some vets like KJ they will be fine. GO JETS!!!!

  2. By sclark on Jun 24, 2010 | Reply

    I understand the sentiment but on his MSG show Esiason (also gave big welcome to Knicks Walsh and D’Antoni and thanked them for saving NY B-ball (after the Isiah experience). He was wrong then hopefully is not now.

  3. By Ira on Jun 24, 2010 | Reply

    EA, Did Boomer mention Hard Knocks at all? You know my feelings on it.

  4. By Jets Fan Since '64 Tom on Jun 24, 2010 | Reply

    This piece seems to illustrate the new Jets reality. I respect Esiason and understand his take as an ex-player on the impact of the departure of Faneca, TJ, and Leon. But letting go of those guys opened the door to getting younger, better players like BE, SH, and AC. We heard early in ’09, from Douglas, how Rex is the kind of guy who’ll bring someone else in if you’re not doing the job. Often that kind of talk isn’t backed up with action but if ever a team needed such action, it’s the Jets.

  5. By Eric Allen on Jun 24, 2010 | Reply

    Hey I,

    It didn’t come up from Boom. I didn’t specifically ask him about HK though.

  6. By russ on Jun 24, 2010 | Reply

    Will the “heart” of Leon Washington be there or the relentlessness of Thomas Jones…I think we have to wait and see…An aggressive DL make secondary excell can we get better?

  7. By JORGE on Jun 24, 2010 | Reply

    hey how is vernon doing??

  8. By david obert on Jun 24, 2010 | Reply

    57 yr old and long,long time Jet fan. I think Boomer hit it on the head as far as the the players in the locker room. I believe he could have said more but wise not to. He said what no one else in the press would say or ask .Unless you have been told it is not a subject to discuss.They got absolutely nothing for Leon other than not paying for him Im not sure how they are going to pay the other players or do they even want to. I’m still really excited and optmistic hopefully this thing can last.

  9. By Yves on Jun 24, 2010 | Reply

    Very good input from Boomer. I suggest getting opinions from other Jets alumni on on current players at their former positions, if possible.

  10. By Jets Fan Since '64 Tom on Jun 24, 2010 | Reply

    david obert, I respect your age, wisdom, and years of Jets fandom. But the Jets got McKnight for Leon and for a lot less money than they would’ve paid Leon, on whom the onus now is to prove he can play anymore at all. In fact, if look at it that the $10 mil for 2 yrs that Leon turned down paid for LT, McKnight, and Conner with a few mil left over to SH, unloading Leon was sheer genius. I’d have liked to see him stay but as this talk of Brunell proves, the Jets seem out to win sooner than later.

  11. By Ira on Jun 25, 2010 | Reply

    Just thinking about Boomer’s remark about the locker room and team chemistry. I sure lived it back in 94 after they blew that game for 1st place vs the Fish and then lost their last 4 games. And they had plenty of vets on that team. Hasty [one of my all-time favorites], B. Washngton, Lott, Lewis, Monk and Esiason. And yet they couldn’t pull it together after that Fish loss. So he makes a good point but i still think Rex gets enough respect from his players and they can handle it. GO JETS!!!!

  12. By Tom Spicer section 124 on Jun 25, 2010 | Reply

    Mark also had 3 rushing TD’S for a total of 15. When people talk about his stats they often leave that out. I think he will have a big jump this year & a even bigger one in year 3. This year he has weapons he just did not have last year. We got Braylon game 5 this year he will have a full year of Braylon who has made a pro bowl. Cotchery missed 5 games with a injury he will have a full year of Cotchery this year. He now has Holmes a Super Bowl MVP. Keller is getting better & better he was great

  13. By Tom Spicer section 124 on Jun 25, 2010 | Reply

    in the playoffs. I think our O line will be just as good despite what everyone says Faneca’s play declined he was a liability on pass plays. I also think guys talk about losing Leon we pretty much did not have him last year & when he did play he didnt do much. We upgraded at RB dont get me wrong Jones is good but I think alot of it was a product of the line. Jones does not outrun, juke or run guys over Greene in the playoffs ran over & out ran the other teams. Mark has the tools 2 be much better

  14. By Jets Fan Since '64 Tom on Jun 25, 2010 | Reply

    Ira, you may’ve noticed I’ve been on Rex’s case a bit lately, but I agree with his dismissive view of “the chemistry thing.” This team is so close to being great that anyone who’s going to sit and sulk over departed players, money (dis means you, DR), or anything else probably doesn’t belong on it anyway. We’ve drafted smart, made great pick-ups, and had the guts to put our money on key young players (MS, SG, DK, NM, DF, DH, and even DR if he gets his head screwed on straight). Bring it on!

  15. By Tom Spicer section 124 on Jun 25, 2010 | Reply

    All this contract talk is much to do about nothing this happens on almost every team every year. Because it is a New York team the media blows it out of proportion Revis has to show up by August 10th 1 week before our 1st game. Because of the 30 percent rule he will add a year before he becomes a free agent & there is ZERO chance he will do that.

  16. By Lloyd the Jet on Jun 25, 2010 | Reply

    Sanchez should be fine as long as he has learned to hide the hotdog better..

  17. By Ira on Jun 25, 2010 | Reply

    You’re correct about these guys. The reality is when they lose a teamate to another team it stings for awhile. Bottom line is they all know its a business and you move on.

  18. By Jets Fan Since '64 Tom on Jun 25, 2010 | Reply

    Great stuff, Spicer, especially the honesty about Faneca, Jones, Leon, and how much better our O should be with all these new weapons. I’m not sure if Revis is seriously ready to become a free agent or not, I just know that it would be a very bad move on his part and would make dramatically clear that he’s not right for this team and where it’s going. In the end I think he’ll take what the Jets offer, which will be an astronomical sum at the very least, and get back to business.

  19. By craig on Jun 25, 2010 | Reply

    granted the loss of three veteren players who played a vitol part of leadership both in the locker room and on the field, will be reflected and pointed out the most during the first few weeks…especially if we lose any of the first 4 games. with that said, we will be most effected by the loss of faneca as the pickups made with signing LT & santonio holmes, and drafting mcnight will more than make up for the supreme services we got outta leon..although he will be missed greatly

  20. By commentman on Jun 25, 2010 | Reply

    im feeling really good about Sanchez, he looked really good in the playoffs and those games definetly show that he isnt rattled by big games that have alot of hype. GO JETS!!!!!

  21. By CB on Jun 26, 2010 | Reply

    OK – – I’ve got green in my blood. However, the off-season has ALAWYS been the best part of oour season, so let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

    That being said, I really excited and optimistic. If we can keep free of major injuries, this could get exciting, particularly with our defense. And if teh running game continues, watch out cause we’ve finally got the receivers. Lets get Coles back for depth, and off to the races!

  22. By John on Jun 26, 2010 | Reply

    The Jets made some huge moves in the off season without a doubt. They need to now focus on keeping Revis happy although they do have three more years on his current contract so I am not sure how urgent the team feels on a new contract. There are two other big contracts to be signed so I hope for the best on those issues. Sanchez will have a big season and I hope he can get over the interception problem because this problem won’t help the team to advance to the next level.

  23. By Will on Jun 27, 2010 | Reply

    Boomer is right about the locker room situation. I love what we’ve done in the off-season, overall anyway, but we screwed Leon. Period. He deserved a long time contract. He’s been a great player and I don’t care what our situation is otherwise, you keep players like LW. LT I understand b/c of Greene but what gurantee is there he’ll play like he did the last two games ALL season? What proof do we have of his durability?

  24. By Jets Fan Since '64 Tom on Jun 27, 2010 | Reply

    Will, I’ll say it everywhere I have to, Leon screwed himself. $10 mil for 2 yrs is way more than he deserved and he turned it down, then he got hurt. We offered him almost $2 mil for 1 yr, very generous considering the injury, and he turned that down. As for SG, he played well all yr, not just the last 2 games, you’ve obviously forgotten about his spectacular games earlier in the yr. McKnight and Conner should come along, there’s also C. Washington, and there’s never any “proof” of anything.

  25. By scjoe on Jun 28, 2010 | Reply

    As I have stated before, chemistry issues from one season to the next are not exclusive to the 2010 NY Jets, sorry Boomer, neither are contract issues, every team has them every year. These players, for the most part, are professionals, they know their job, they know their assignments and “where they play” or what issues they have off field, should not be that much of a factor when they are on the playing field.The season will not come down to those issues.

  26. By Row on Jul 1, 2010 | Reply

    Mark has shown a few flashes because of the ability of the running game and BE’s keen ways of losing defenders. His postseason stats are skewed in that he had very few attempts the first two games. He still committed turnovers. Greene ran well, but was injured when the line was stacked. This will be an issue. I would like to see LT emerge as the feature back. Greene will be that much better. I also would like us to give LenDale White a shot. He’s cheap and a bruiser! Go Jets

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