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Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Sanchez preps for an 'unbelievable' defense

By Michael C. Wright

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez clicked on film of the Bears’ eighth-ranked defense and came to an easy conclusion.

Mark Sanchez
Mark Sanchez has had an up-and-down season.
“Unbelievable,” he said. “You watch the film and you’re like, ‘How are we even going to attack these guys?’”

Surely, the Jets plan to find a way using Sanchez under center. Sanchez underwent a precautionary MRI on his throwing shoulder on Monday, a day after the Jets downed the Pittsburgh Steelers 22-17 on the road. Sanchez said he took part in a “couple throws” on Wednesday at practice, and said, “if we were playing the game today, I definitely would be in there.”

The Jets listed Sanchez on their injury report as having participated during Wednesday’s practice in a limited capacity.

Sanchez pointed to the Bears’ front seven as the most challenging aspect of their defense.

“Their front seven is great. Their back end does such a good job because of their pass rush; they’re smart guys, they keep everything in front of them,” Sanchez said. “They have so many tipped balls at the line of scrimmage that end up not being just incompletions, but being interceptions. [Julius] Peppers is diving for interceptions. [Brian] Urlacher and [Lance] Briggs are everywhere on film, and they cover really well on the back end. So it’s going to be a big-time challenge for us. We’re excited about it, ready to compete. But we’re going to have our hands full.”

Here are few other highlights from Sanchez’s conference call Wednesday with the Chicago media:

On the difference between his performances now, versus his rookie season: “For the last two games before the Pittsburgh game, I would’ve said I’m making better decisions, using my legs a little more, sliding a lot better, getting rid of the ball, getting to my check-downs a lot faster. But those two weeks we didn’t play very well. I reverted to some of those poor decisions, not having two hands on the ball, and just got sloppy with my fundamentals. That’s what hurt us my rookie year, and what I cleaned up for the playoffs. I thought I had a good grasp on it through the beginning and middle part of the year, and then for this push, I felt like I got sloppy. So it’s just getting back to fundamentals.”

On playing quarterback in New York amid all the distractions: “It’s New York and they kind of find anything and everything. It just reminds you that you’ve got to be smart and say as little as possible, do as little as possible in public, and keep a watchful eye on who you hang out with and what you do. But it’s a great town when you’re winning and you’ve just got to be smart.”

On the recent foot-fetish video report involving Jets coach Rex Ryan: "It’s something personal that Rex is going through. Obviously I’m behind 100 percent; I’ll do anything I can possibly do to help him and rally for him, be there for him. He’s our head coach and more importantly a really good friend. But other than that it’s a personal matter and it’s not going to affect our team.”