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For Sanchez, Hard Counts Getting Easier

Posted by Randy Lange on August 4, 2010 – 12:59 pm

The show is called Hard Knocks, but one episode starring Mark Sanchez might be labeled Hard Counts.

“Getting guys offsides — thank you for noticing,” Sanchez beamed at the question posed by Dennis Waszak of The Associated Press after this morning’s fourth full-squad practice of training camp.

We noted Sanchez’s increasing comfort level with altering his cadences and drawing defenders offside during OTAs, and true enough it has been on display so far at SUNY Cortland.

“We got Jenk today and we got two guys yesterday, Calvin [Pace] and somebody else,” Sanchez said. “So it’s like a hit streak in baseball. I got three in a row. I need to get ‘em again this afternoon.”

The second-year QB made sure not to rub it in too much with Kris Jenkins the 10th-year, now-359-pound nose tackle, who was at his first practice after passing his conditioning test at 6 a.m. this morning and coming off the active PUP list. Jenkins wasn’t thrilled at being nabbed but likes what it portends for Sanchez and the offense.

“The next couple of years Mark is definitely going to start getting a lot more savvy because now he has that year under his belt,” Jenkins said. “It’s going to be a little rougher now. It’s cool, it keeps me honest.”

Rex Ryan also likes this new wrinkle that can pick his offense up 5 yards at a time for all the various manifestations of a great hard count: offsides, encroachment, neutral zone infractions.

“I remember last year it was like nobody’s falling for anything,” the head coach said at today’s midday news conference. “He’s learning how to use his voice and use that cadence to his advantage. A guy who does it great is Mark Brunell. Bart [Scott] said, ‘I remember when he was with Jacksonville, he’d do that and I was on the sidelines and I was jumping offsides.’ “

Sanchez credited Brunell, coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and just him listening to his own calls on video to know which syllables, which colors to put a little extra emphasis on. But a lot of this big little new weapon in his arsenal is due to his overall comfort level as he steps behind center in year 2.

“Your rookie year you’re just scrambling to spit the play out right in the huddle,” he said. “When you get to the line, the last thing on your mind is the cadence. Now it’s one of those situations where I got the play, I know what we’re doing, now let’s add a little more. Let’s try and get these guys.”

That’s similar to Chad Pennington’s approach. From only a few hard-count successes his first four seasons as a starter, Pennington exploded in ’06 by drawing 24 penalties with his cadence, and that surely was an important piece to that Green & White team’s late surge into the playoffs.

Sanchez similarly drew only two hard-count penalties all last year, both coming in the final regular-season game against the Bengals. But he’s on a roll now, intent on extend his “hitting streak” not only into week 2 of training camp but well into his second season as the Jets’ starter.

Here are the hard-count penalties drawn by the Jets’ starting QBs since 2004:

Year      Quarterback                      Drawn       Enforced

2004     Chad Pennington                        3                      2

2005     Chad Pennington                        2                      2

               Vinny Testaverde                        1                      1

               Brooks Bollinger                         0                      0

2006     Chad Pennington                      24                    17

2007     Chad Pennington                        8                      8

               Kellen Clemens                          2                      2

2008     Brett Favre                                    7                      5

2009     Mark Sanchez                              2                      2

A.M. Practice Notes

Some observations from Nick Gallo on this morning’s camp practice:

■ The secondary showed its strength as Antonio Cromartie had a nice interception along the sideline and batted away a would-be touchdown. CB Drew Coleman had his second pick in as many days. And rookie Kyle Wilson “intercepted” a ball that may or may not have touched the ground as he pulled it in at the goal line. No instant replay booth here at SUNY Cortland.

■ Veteran DE Shaun Ellis had the session off, which meant that Vernon Gholston and Ropati Pitoitua saw action with the first team along the defensive line.

■ Sanchez made some nice throws, hitting Braylon Edwards on a pair of passes — one a post for a touchdown and another a go route down the sideline that Edwards spectacularly caught inside the 5-yard line.

■ Matt Slauson got all of the snaps at LG with the first offensive line this morning, while Shonn Greene and LaDainian Tomlinson continued to share the starting RB duties.


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Posted in Randy Lange | 15 Comments »


15 Responses to “For Sanchez, Hard Counts Getting Easier”

  1. By OldRogue on Aug 4, 2010 | Reply

    It’s so great watching “The Kid” grow into a fully developed professional. But we do expect results come game-time.

    Randy – Having a little trouble aligning those tables?

  2. By Randy Lange on Aug 4, 2010 | Reply

    Very astute of you to notice the alignment, Old Rogue. That’s what happens when they take away your chart function on you.

  3. By Michael on Aug 4, 2010 | Reply

    What a year for Chad in 2006. I never realized that he was so good at hard counts.

  4. By Peter on Aug 4, 2010 | Reply

    ************(Mark Sanchez also has to get better at LOOKING OFF the DBs. Mark Sanchez cannot STARE down the Receiver and has be BETTER at looking OFF the DBs and feeling the pressure of the POCKET)*******************

  5. By GaryC on Aug 4, 2010 | Reply

    might not be a bad idea to use Ducasse and Slauson as the messenger guards like Paul Brown did with Bengals. It will keep each involved and give both the experience they will need.

  6. By Kaya on Aug 4, 2010 | Reply

    I have to post this here. The Revis situation is getting a bit out of hand. I love Revis, but let’s but the fact where the foot is. Yrs in the league – your first 2 yrs were ok (average) by standard and last yr you ahd a very solid yr. But it was only 1 solid yr – and your holding out to become the highest paid CB? You have 3 mor yrs left – have a 2 solid season and i am with you that you should be the highest paid CB. But after 1 yr? I think that’s ridiculous.

  7. By GaryC on Aug 4, 2010 | Reply

    finally, two months after I mention Sean Gilbert his name finally comes to the forefront in the revis negotiations.How about that.

  8. By 37 year fan on Aug 4, 2010 | Reply

    V.G. is blowing up the defensive end position . I told you guys not to give up on him. He’s batting passes down , he’s got Q.B. sacks . They can’t cover him with his speed and power . Go V.G . Get ‘em !

  9. By Jets Fan Since '64 Tom on Aug 4, 2010 | Reply

    Messenger guards for MS sounds good to me, GaryC, unless one guy really wins the job handily. Peter, I agree about MS but I won’t miss seeing that pressure coming in so often from Faneca’s spot. Nice breakdown, Kaya, it seems like more and more folks are seeing DR’s obstinate stance for what it is, a mistake.

  10. By commentman on Aug 4, 2010 | Reply

    great to hear Sanchez is getting those hard counts down, its like an easy first down on fourth and 5, great to hear the rookie Kyle Wilson got an “interception”, even if he didnt catch it, at least he is aware of were the ball is, also Cromartie sounds like he’s living up to expectations, im definetly impressed with Coleman, TWO INTERCEPTIONS!!! thats nice

  11. By Jets Fan Since '64 Tom on Aug 5, 2010 | Reply

    I’m almost afraid to hope that VG works out this year but then I slap myself and say hey, that’s not the Jets way, ya gotta believe! If he can start to fulfill his potential at the position we shoulda played him at all along (thanks, Eric Mangenius), it’ll be like having had an extra draft pick and a good one.

  12. By joeyjets12fla on Aug 5, 2010 | Reply

    not only hard counts and the cadence but with our backs play-action can get some real lomg yards. vinne was great at it (learned from steve deburg who by the way was an amature magician had huge hands) and taught it to pennington.that long balll to edwards along the left side line in the play offs was off of play-action. farve used to go alll the way through the motions like he was passing even after handing off the balll which helps the run. keep’em off guard. go JETS

  13. By Ray on Aug 5, 2010 | Reply

    37 year fan, while it will be great if VG turns a corner and really becomes a major factor in the defense. “Blowing Up” the defensive end position in a couple of early training camp sessions is hardly something to get too excited about. If he shows some of that in a couple of pre-season games, AGAINST THE STARTERS, then, and only then, will I feel like there might be something good really happening with VG. But from all I have heard and seen, he has been looking pretty good so far….

  14. By Row on Aug 10, 2010 | Reply

    I’m not convinced. I think Sanchez is up for a sophomore slump. I cannot wait till Brunell has to start and he flops. Mr. T is really messing up. He gets a contract extension, but cannot sign Revis. Just bonus up a two year deal with incentives that will allow him to make Asi numbers if he hits the numbers. You get paid to play, to perform. That would allow him to do just that!

  15. By OldRogue on Aug 10, 2010 | Reply

    Anybody who says just do this, or just do that, about these contract negotiations has no idea what he’s talking about. None.

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