FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The thrill is most certainly gone for the Jets, who are jockeying only for draft position on Sunday in Buffalo.
There may be thrills for those who are actually playing, like Greg McElroy. For Mark Sanchez, it will be clipboard time for a second straight week, putting a rather ugly finish on a season that began with Sanchez throwing for 266 yards and three touchdowns in a 48-28 rout of the Bills.
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But the benched starter sounds enthusiastic about another game of charting plays rather than running them.
"Guys understand it isn't what we anticipated, it's not what we prepared for but at the same time, this is still your job. This is still what you do for a living," Sanchez said. "You take pride in it. When things don't go well, the easiest thing to do would be to pack it in. That's not the way I'm going to approach it this week."
So Sanchez will try, as he did on Sunday in the Jets' 27-17 loss to the Chargers, to be vocal on the sideline and help McElroy out. The time for self-assessment comes after the finale against the Bills.
"I think we'll wait for that," Sanchez said of his feelings about the season. "I don't think now is the appropriate time, out of respect for the team, and out of respect for Greg as he prepares for this game. It's not about me. It's about getting ready to play if I'm needed."
He did say that his positive attitude these last couple weeks is not just part of the job, it's to keep some confidence in reserve if he gets a chance to play -- with the Jets or elsewhere -- next season.
"It's been a great learning experience about interaction with guys on the team, going through coaching changes, things like that," Sanchez said. "But [there are] great lessons to learn and just to be ready when I get my next shot and we'll see what happens. Plenty for all of us to learn. You have to look at it that way or else you'll just keep beating yourself up and you won't improve from it, so that's really where we're at."
Sanchez said he never considered sulking after Rex Ryan sat him down for a second and final time after the 14-10 loss to the Titans 10 days ago.
"'I'm trying to be a pro. Trust me, this isn't ideal," he said. "You've got to do the right thing, and this is the right thing to do."