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Sanchez confident about minicamp

Mark Sanchez at the Jets' training facility on

Mark Sanchez at the Jets' training facility on May 20. Credit: Craig Ruttle

We'll interrupt the contract extension talk centering around Darrelle Revis and Nick Mangold for a little football talk.

Let's begin with Mark Sanchez, the franchise QB who's getting closer to wrapping up his rehab from February's left knee surgery. He's still only participating in position drills and 7-on-7s, but I asked him how his health is now compared to even two weeks ago.

"A lot better," Sanchez said. "Everyday it’s feeling better and that’s been key.  After long days of work and lower body lifting days, the big thing is coming back the next day not swollen, achy or hurting. It’s been great. The training staff is happy and we’re looking forward to being ready for minicamp."

So, is minicamp a definite?

"If things keep going the way they are, if they progress the way they are now, I’m confident I’ll be ready to go," Sanchez said. "It’s ultimately going to be up to the training staff and Rex. I feel good about it. I’m confident."

The same could be said about how his knee currently feels. There hasn't been any swelling, which of course is a positive sign.

"It feels really good," Sanchez said. "The scary stuff is when the scar tissue pops, but it just feels good. It alleviates all the pain. It’s natural. That was probably the scariest thing and part of it is psychological rehab too. You want to feel right about it in your head first and that’s why we do all the exercises in the training room. I feel good. My feet are under me and I’m getting some good spin on the ball (and) really using my legs. I feel good about it."

Still, not being able to get on the field for team drills is beginning to take a toll on Sanchez, who's anxious to get in there.

"It’s hard right now," he said. "It’s frustrating. Doing the drills on the side, going through 7-on-7s and then having to watch special categories, having to watch team, having to watch them move the ball, stuff that I love doing and the reps that I like getting and the reps that I need, so as soon as I get the opportunity, I’m champing at the bit now to do it.

"As soon as they come, I need to make the most of the ones I get and, hopefully, all of them in minicamp and then watch that film and get ready for camp."

Other news and observations from today's OTAs:

S Jim Leonhard sat out for a bit, but it wasn't anything to get worried about. It was only because Rex wanted S Brodney Pool to call some of the plays in the defensive secondary and not count so much on Leonhard to quarterback the defense.

"Right now, Brodney relies so heavily on Jim that it’s like, ‘No, you can do this. I want you to be more the captain of your side,’ " Rex Ryan said. "That’s why we put him with Eric [Smith]. I just don’t want him to get that comfortable where he has to have Jim out there. I think he responded with several plays."


LB Bart Scott was on the field for a few special teams drills and there's a chance we may see him out there come the season.

"We’re going to put an all-star squad out there. We really are," Ryan said. "Westy (Mike Westhoff) said he won’t be every snap, but I know Westhoff better than that. Bart will probably be on every punt return team. Just to use him three or four times a game could [make a] difference because he can rush, he can block, he can make blocks in the open field. That’s why he’s out there.

"You also saw [Antonio] Cromartie [and] Jason Taylor out there. We’re going to do whatever it takes to win. I think that’s going to put a unit out there that will be special."


K Nick Folk started off nicely, banging his first two attempts through. But the shaky kicker ended things on a sour note, misfiring on his final two attempts. One came when NT Kris Jenkins jokingly made some noises with his mouth.


Vladimir Ducasse worked with the first team today again at LG, but has a ways to go before he earns the starting nod.

"He’s progressing some, but he’s still making a lot of rookie mistakes," Ryan said. "It’s going to be a work in progress. So far, he’s hanging in there. He gets a little better each day. He’s clearly not there yet, but we’ll see. I have confidence in him. I have confidence in Bill Callahan to get it done and he’s also being pushed by Matt Slauson who was at right guard today. I think it’s still a battle there."


RG Brandon Moore was excused from practice today. 


Remember to follow me on Twitter as the Jets get ready to wrap up their offseason workouts over the next few weeks before taking half of June and most of July off to rest up before August training camp.

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