Jets' Mark Sanchez ready for breakout season
CORTLAND, N.Y -- Mark Sanchez is up for the challenge.
A day after Jets linebacker Bart Scott said he expects Sanchez to be among the top 10 quarterbacks in the NFL this season, Sanchez expressed confidence in his ability to do so.
"Sure, you have to think that," Sanchez said Thursday after the team's final training camp practice at SUNY Cortland. "You have to play like that and as soon as you get on the field, you have to be the baddest guy out there. The toughest, the best, the most accurate and you have to want to win."
Sanchez called the past three weeks "probably my most consistent camp." He also said he had his fewest turnovers, which has been a problem for him in the past. Sanchez said he's looking to establish the same sustained success as other top quarterbacks in the league.
"It's my job to deliver it and be the trigger man that this team needs and I'm ready to do that," said Sanchez, who was 5-for-6 passing with no sacks or interceptions in Thursday's team drills. "I'm excited about this team and our potential."
Rex Ryan wouldn't say whether Sanchez will be a top 10 quarterback this season.
"I don't want to put a number out there, where you'd rank him, but I feel great about Mark, there's no doubt," Ryan said. "He has all the tools.''
Sanchez took no issue with Darrelle Revis' claim Wednesday that their season -- and Super Bowl hopes -- rests on his shoulders. Sanchez pointed out that as great a defensive player as Revis is, the All-Pro cornerback has no win-loss record. But Sanchez said he accepts the inherent and unparalleled pressure that comes with the quarterback position. He has to win.
And to do so, Sanchez had to step out of his comfort zone. Unlike in previous years when he was surrounded by veteran targets in the huddles, the quarterback has no problems asserting himself now. With so many young wide receivers, he said it is necessary to stay on top of guys and, sometimes, even yell.
He said it's not in his "genetic makeup" to bark orders. But with the trajectory of their season resting on his performances, Sanchez said he has no choice because "this is my huddle."
"There's a time and a place to give somebody a hug, to jump up and give him a chest bump and high-five," he said. "And there are other times where you have to get on guys."
Though Sanchez has learned to temper his on-field emotions, especially after turnovers, he took slight issue with the perception that Eli Manning and the Giants are cool, calm and collected at all times.
"I think [Manning] does a great job with his emotions, but the funny thing is . . . if you win the Super Bowl and rip your helmet off and throw it on the sidelines, no one is really going to say anything. You get that pass," Sanchez said, referring to former Giant Brandon Jacobs' helmet toss into the Lucas Oil Stadium stands during a blowout loss to the Colts in 2010.
"But if you go 8-8, get mad and show a little emotion on TV, people are going to say, 'Oh, he's a head case.'
"It's natural to have a little bit of emotion out there. I'm not a robot."