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Matt Cavanaugh believes Mark Sanchez will have good season

Quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh talks with Mark Sanchez

Quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh talks with Mark Sanchez during training camp. (July 30, 2012) Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams, Jr.

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Don't be fooled by Mark Sanchez's laid-back demeanor, said quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh.

Even though Sanchez admitted in the preseason that yelling at guys isn't it in his "genetic makeup," the Jets' quarterback is a competitor to the core and is poised for a good season, the coach believes.

Nothing -- not even the arrival of Tim Tebow and the media storm that followed him to Florham Park -- was going to steer Sanchez off his path to being the leader the Jets need, Cavanaugh said.

"I see a successful year happening for him. I really do," the coach said Thursday, in his first sit-down interview with reporters this season. "I think he's committed to being the best he can be every day. And that's all we ask of him."

Cavanaugh suspected there was some initial "trepidation" on Sanchez's part in the aftermath of the trade, but "deep down" he wasn't concerned Tebow's presence would effect the fourth-year quarterback.

"On the surface, I think wherever Tim showed up, it was going to be a stir because of his persona," said Cavanaugh, a Super Bowl-winning quarterback with the 49ers and Giants. "But I think Mark's got enough confidence in himself and his game. He didn't tell me this, but I'm going to assume that he's human and there was probably some trepidation.

"But I think he knows that he's a damn good quarterback and he welcomed Tim. And he wasn't phony about it . . . They get along really well and they appreciate each other and they respect each other and that makes it easy."

Cavanaugh also said he isn't overly fixated about Sanchez's completion percentage (53.7 percent). He said he often tells the quarterback: "Just win, Mark, and everybody will recognize you as a great quarterback."

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