Mark Sanchez has been taking criticism from all directions over the last few days, but the quarterback isn't about to go on the defensive.
"I’m not here to defend why I should be the quarterback," Sanchez told guest host Stephen A. Smith on 1050 ESPN's 'The Michael Kay Show' this afternoon. "I think when it comes to work ethic and things like that, people in the building know how hard I work and how much I care about playing here, and how much I love this team and franchise.
"But all we can control is this next week. We’ll assess the offseason when that time comes."
Sanchez's rough play Saturday, when he threw a career-high 59 passes but had three fourth-quarter turnovers, has generated more talk about his ability to take that next step and become a high-level quarterback. One Internet report suggested there are people within the Jets' organization that are privately questioning if Sanchez is the long-term answer.
He bristled at the notion he's being coddled.
"When things aren’t going well, that‘s when questions like that arise," Sanchez said. "In this market, that's the way things go. People want results and they want answers when they don't get the results they are looking for."
"Any time you don't accomplish your goals," he added, "that's considered a failure -- at least in my book. That doesn't mean we don't have the pieces or we didn't have opportunities. It just means we didn't capitalize on those opportunities."
Sanchez said he knows Rex Ryan, who's had his back, wants him to succeed.
"He’s seen flashes of a great quarterback and he's also seen some bonehead mistakes," Sanchez said. "So I think when he talks about being a great quarterback, that just means being consistent and that’s what I’m striving for. I think all that stuff is in the near future and I’m working toward that every week."