Panthers 17, Jets 12: Mark Sanchez Post-Game Quotes

On whether the confidence of the offensive line has been fractured due to the lack of touchdowns…
Not at all. I think our guys played well tonight, with just one sack, and really it was a coverage sack. Can’t hold that ball all day. The back end played really well for Carolina, so I thought there was great improvement up front and we moved the ball well in between the 20s, but when we get into scoring position, we need to punch it in. We can’t have a personal foul.

On what has prohibited the offense from scoring a touchdown…

Tonight, we just have to hang onto the football. I know our guys can catch the ball. I know we can make plays out on the edge. We have the talent and the playmakers to do that, but unfortunately tonight, we didn’t execute to the best of our ability. That’s the way it goes some nights, but we’ll bring Stephen (Hill) along, we’ll shake the rust off of (Santonio Holmes) and get ready for the regular season. The way I see it, we’re saving all of our good stuff for the regular season.

On how nice it was to have Holmes back…
It was great. We’d like to get him a couple more catches and we’ll make that happen, but it was nice to have him back, and he really does stress the defense, so that’s fun to have.

On whether the personal foul on Matt Slauson is why the offense did not score a touchdown…
It didn’t help. I know he’s protecting PT (Patrick Turner) and trying to help his teammate, but at the same time, we’ve got to be smart with that stuff and not go in there with a flying elbow or whatever he did.

On what he will tell Hill…
I told him to get on the JUGS machine first and foremost, but I’m still going to throw him the ball. I haven’t lost any faith in the guy. He’s a heck of a player. He’s shown great skills in practice and now he just has to transfer it over to the game and get that confidence, but I know he will. And down in the end zone on the back end line, he’s going to learn quickly that not all those balls, just like Plaxico Burress and guys like that and Santonio—not all those balls are perfect. That’s when those guys really come alive and the good ones come alive and make a play. He’s done it for us in practice and he’ll do it in the game. Other than getting as much work on his hands as possible, we’ll just keep bringing him along and keep helping him.

On why he has confidence that the offense will be okay for Week One…
Well, we just feel like there’s good stuff right around the corner, and we’re steadily improving and now we’ll need to make a big jump for this Buffalo game coming up, but we’ve got some time. Had a couple of injuries tonight, so hopefully these next few days, we’ll be able to get guys healthy and be at full strength for Buffalo.

On what Rex Ryan’s message to the team was…
Just to keep on improving. I know we touched on wide outs catching the ball, he touched on me getting rid of the football and not getting sacked and then defense and offense, we’ve got to be better on third down.

On whether he gets tired of field goals…
We’ve got to give what the defense gives us. We would like to execute better than that. We’ve got to score touchdowns instead of field goals to win. We understand that. We’ll keep improving.

On seeing two of his tight ends leave with injuries right after the other…
(It’s) not good, not something you want to see in the preseason. We’d like to keep guys healthy, but our trainers will be busy. We’re lucky we have the best trainers in the league, so they’ll get them back as soon as possible.

On if he was able to get into a rhythm tonight because the protection was improved…
I thought the protection was better. Like I said, that one sack was really a coverage sack. They played really well on the back end and we were kind of empty. It can’t hold up forever. I thought Austin (Howard) did great. Nick (Mangold), Brick (D’Brickashaw Ferguson), Brandon Moore and Slaw (Matt Slauson) always do well. We’re pleased with that and we moved the ball fairly well at times.

On being the first team in 35 years to not score a touchdown in their first three preseason games…
We’ve got the fourth one coming up.

On how much weight he puts on that stat…
I said it before, we’re saving our good stuff for the regular season.

On Tim Tebow’s performance…
We had a chance. He made some good calls in the two-minute stuff. I thought he moved the ball well down the field.

On how different the offense will be in the season’s opening game against Buffalo…
Hopefully, some more touchdowns.

On how different the offensive schemes will be in the opener…
We’ll see. (It will be) two weeks of suspense.

On if he was hoping to finish the third quarter…
I’m not even thinking about that. We strive when we go out, we’re trying to execute on each play. As long as I was in there, that was my goal, and that was it.

On how frustrating it was to reach the 12-yard line and not be able to score a touchdown…
We just have to execute better, we really do. We can’t have personal fouls. We can’t hurt ourselves. When the ball’s in the air in the end zone, we have to make plays. I know our guys can do it. I have full faith in them. We have to execute.

On why they did not try to run the two-minute offense at the end of the first half…

You have to ask Coach (Tony) Sparano.

On if he would have been open to running the two-minute offense then…
Whatever coach calls there is what we’ll run. We were getting the ball in the second half, so I’m assuming (that was the reason), but I don’t to speak for coach. You have to ask him.

On if he feels more comfortable and in rhythm in the offense now…
I felt good. I felt like we were in a rhythm. I tried to get our guys the ball out on the perimeter and watch them work. (I was) accurate for the most part. I have to keep improving.

On if he feels he can build off of his preseason performance even though the team has not scored a touchdown…
I’m doing my best to get the ball to our guys and I feel good with the system. I felt like there was a little bit of rhythm out there. We are steadily improving, and hopefully, we’ll make a big jump for that first game.

On if there is any collective level of concern regarding the offense’s performance…
I don’t think so. I haven’t sensed that all. I think morale is high. (There is) still a good vibe and guys are excited to play.

On how healthy he feels right now…
I feel good. The best I’ve felt.

On if he saw things that make him feel more confident in the offense tonight than he might have last week…
I was just proud of our offensive line. I was proud of the way Austin Howard competed. That’s not an easy spot to jump into. I saw things clear, went through my progressions, checked the ball down, ran it when I had to, and for the most part, made pretty good decisions. That’s all you can do.

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