Not that he exactly set the world on fire last season during his rookie campaign with the New York Jets, but all things considered quarterback Mark Sanchez fared solidly in 2009. Now Sanchez must avoid the so-called sophomore slump. Joe Flacco of the Baltimore Ravens, and Matt Ryan of the Atlanta Falcons fell prey to the mythical slump a year ago following their accomplished rookie seasons. Now all eyes are on Sanchez to see if he can not only avoid regressing this coming season, but also if he can take several big steps forward for Rex Ryan and the Jets in ’10.
Sanchez hit the airwaves with Michael Kay on ESPN Radio in New York on Tuesday to talk about the heightened pressure on him this season with all the lofty expectations surrounding the Jets, as well as other interesting topics such as his comfort level with Santonio Holmes, if there’s any concerns at left guard, and the development of Dustin Keller. Sanchez, like usual, is candid, insightful and humble all at once with his responses. Here’s a few choice quotes from the interview.
What grade he would give his preseason so far:
"I thought B-, C+, being critical of a couple of those that I want back and then having a couple of drives stall. Overall as an offense it wasn’t great for us but I feel like there are a lot of positives to build on, learn, we are going to be excited to get Antonio back whenever he comes back and then we saw some great things from the running game. So a lot to build on, we are excited to start the year. Not my best preseason but it will get better when it counts."
Which Mark Sanchez people can expect to see this year:
"Well I think one that is making better decisions that is for sure, over a long period of time and more consistent. Consistency has been the drive this entire camp and offseason. Staying sharp with my reads and not slipping, my routine, sticking to a routine where last year I was trying out a couple of different routines during the year so it was making things a little more difficult for us, but when we finally got one we really liked we went with that and that is when things started to turn around for us at the end of the year. I think the decision-making will be most important and that is what I will focus on."