Mark Sanchez thinks he can become a more effective quarterback for the Jets now that he’s gotten some advice from a former New York quarterback who has been through many of the same struggles.
Sanchez said recent meetings with Chad Pennington, the Jets’ first round pick in 2000 who was with the team until his release shortly before the 2008 season, has helped him gain perspective on what it takes to succeed in New York.
“Chad was open to having me come down (to Florida) and meet with him, and after quite a few meetings, I don't know if there's anybody (better). The same guy who has talked to you guys as beat writers, has played in New York and one of the toughest positions in football, he knew everything and understood when we talked about the difficulties of the season and really underachieving last year.
“He knew every situation I was in and more,” Sanchez said. “It was great perspective to hear, and really get a chance to talk with him about different situations in a ballgame and then we got into more specific stuff. I owe him a lot of gratitude because he was great.”
Pennington also helped Sanchez become familiar with the Jets' new offensive coordinator Tony Sparano's system. Sparano, the Dolphins' head coach from 2008-2011, signed Pennington as a free agent in August, 2008 after the Jets had released him following the Brett Favre trade. Pennington led Miami to an 11-5 record and the AFC East title that season, but later suffered additional shoulder problems and a knee injury that ended his career with Miami. He is now an NFL analsyst for Fox.