Mind Games? Mark Sanchez Watches Mark Brunell Take First-Team Reps

Is New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan playing mind games with struggling quarterback Mark Sanchez. Maybe. Veteran backup Mark Brunell took a few first-team snaps during practice both Monday and Tuesday, a fact that apparently irked the third-year quarterback.

Brunell, in his 17th year in the NFL, clearly enjoyed the few snaps he got with the first group.

“It was a big day. I think I got four plays. Out of the 40 that we ran, I got four,” Brunell said. “So, I was pretty excited about that. I think three of them were runs, but it was good to go in there a little bit.”

The New York Post recalled that Ryan used a similar ploy to motivate Sanchez when the young quarterback was struggling late in the 2011 season.

“I know Mark Sanchez extremely well,” Ryan said. “I know how tough, how [much] fighting spirit he has. If it takes me to do this and take a punch in the nose I don’t care. I’ll do it. But we’ve got to have it from him. He’s the guy. He’s my guy and we have to have it from him. … When he’s that way we’re extremely hard to beat.”

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