Mark Sanchez is ready to put Sunday's performance against the Bills behind him.
"I’m just trying to bounce back after getting pulled last week for [Mark] Brunell," the second-year quarterback, standing in front of his locker, cracked this afternoon. "Coach has been talking about it for a while and then he benched me last week, so I’m a little upset."
Sanchez was showing a little humor, playfully talking about his cameo appearance versus Buffalo in which he was only on the field for one series and handed the ball off nine times. Still nursing a sore shoulder, he didn't throw one pass, leaving many observers to question why he even played and just how much he's actually hurting heading into Saturday night's AFC wild-card matchup with the Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium.
But Sanchez reiterated today that his throwing shoulder, which could require offseason surgery, isn't an issue and he's not concerned about it at all.
"No," he said. "I’m feeling good and ready to go for Saturday."
Asked how the soreness affects his throws, he said: "It doesn’t affect it much. We’re just being smart about it, taking the right reps, getting the right throws and approaching it the same way we have the last few weeks. But it felt good today."
Sanchez was listed as a limited participant in practice today, but said he actually did more today than he did last Wednesday (today's practice is like a Wednesday for the Jets because of the short work week).
"Same thing I’ve been doing the last few weeks," Sanchez said. "If you don’t take every rep, technically you are supposed to be limited. I got probably almost all the throws. I felt good with the plan, and accurate and I threw the ball well."
That's music to the Jets' ears because they need their signal caller to play the way he did this time a year ago during the Jets' postseason run to the AFC Championship game against the Colts.
Sanchez completed 41 of 68 attempts (60.3 percent) for 539 yards, throwing four touchdowns and three picks. He also recorded a quarterback rating of 92.7 in addition to establishing the longest play in the franchise's postseason history, connecting with wideout Braylon Edwards for an 80-yard score in their 30-17 loss to Indianapolis.
That experience, he says, is invaluable and something he'll draw on come Saturday.
"I’m feeling better towards this tail end for my second year," Sanchez said. "I feel light years ahead of where I was last year, just mentally, knowing the schedule understanding what a playoff game feels like, anticipating the kind of energy that you get from their crowd and how you need to be loud at the line of scrimmage, little things that I had to experience first to understand now and I feel a lot better.
"So it’s a great opportunity for us and I’ll have a better feel for it."