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Mark Sanchez shines in practice

Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez drops back during training

Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez drops back during training camp in Cortland. (Aug. 3, 2013) (Credit: Hans Pennink)

CORTLAND – Apparently, Mark Sanchez was the only player who felt like competing Monday.

The fifth-year quarterback received rave reviews from head coach Rex Ryan – who criticized the team’s lack of effort and focus during a practice centered on red-zone efficiency.

“One guy that I’ll say came out to practice was Mark Sanchez,” the Jets coach said of Sanchez, who completed 6-of-9 passes and also threw a short touchdown pass to Bilal Powell during team drills. “I thought he was sharp.”

(In comparison, rookie QB Geno Smith finished 4-for-7 with no TDs.)

“I liked the way he was in the huddle,” Ryan said of Sanchez, who has thrown four total interceptions during 11-on-11s (Smith, on the other hand, has zero). “He was ready to go today. There was no question about that.”

Keeping with their regular QB rotation, Sanchez practiced with the first team, while Smith worked with the twos. (Greg McElroy worked with the threes.)

Asked if today’s session was one of his strongest training-camp practices, Sanchez simply said: “I felt good, I felt good.”

Later, he said of their “move-the-ball” drill during 7-on-7s: “I thought we were pretty sharp there, that first group. Calls came in quick, got in and out of the huddle, had great tempo, good pace, good mix of runs and passes, screens, everything. It was kind of the way that we want to run things, you know, in a nut shell in one drive, and that looked pretty good.”

It was a step in the right direction for Sanchez, who struggled early in Saturday’s Green and White scrimmage. The veteran QB -- who began the intramural game with the second-team offense -- had two three-and-outs, was sacked, tripped over his own foot while trying to drop back and was also intercepted by cornerback Antonio Cromartie.

But Sanchez ended the game on a high note, lofting a beautiful 53-yard touchdown pass to Stephen Hill to end the game.

Tags: jets , mark sanchez , rex ryan

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