The man who finished Mark Sanchez’ night may have saved his own job.
Marvin Austin had one of his most impressive performances on a football field since being selected with a second-round pick in the 2011 draft. One of the exclamation points on his play was the crunching hit he put on Sanchez in the fourth quarter, knocking the Jets’ would-be starter out of the game.
“Coach called a play and I pretty much overlapped over (Johnathan) Hankins,” Austin said. “When I saw him, sh--, I just hit him. And I hit him hard because I felt it.”
Hankins and Mark Herzlich were flushing Sanchez from the pocket and as the quarterback rolled to his left Austin was closing in.
“A race to the quarterback, you know how that is,” Austin said. “I was right there, I saw him, I just put my shoulder into him.”
Sanchez left the game with a shoulder injury. Austin nearly had to leave the game too.
“I was hurt,” he said. “When I hit him I felt it in my chest. I played it off, tried to run off, but it was a pretty hard hit. Hopefully he’s healthy or whatever. I wish nobody to be hurt. But it was a hard hit.”
Austin has been on the bubble to make the 53-man roster, but his play on Saturday night which also included a sack of Sanchez earlier in the game may have proved his worth.
“I just looked at it like I gotta go out there and hit him, I gotta go out there and perform and show them I can play in this league,” Austin said. “Who better to do it against than the Jets’ quarterback?”
In the fourth quarter of a preseason game, though, even Austin was shocked that the Jets quarterback he was hitting was Sanchez.
“Well, they got a huge investment in him,” Austin said, “so I was a little surprised.”