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Wednesday, June 12, 2013
QB coach to Sanchez: Stop fumbling

By Rich Cimini

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- David Lee calls it "The Sanchez Drill." The quarterback carries the ball through a gauntlet of six or seven people, all of them swinging foam bats in an attempt to dislodge the ball. The idea is to promote ball security, forcing the quarterback to use two hands.

Mark Sanchez
David Lee wants to see Mark Sanchez keep both of his hands on the ball.
"He doesn't like [the name of the drill]," Lee said, referring to Mark Sanchez.

Lee created the name because, well, Sanchez fumbles a lot -- 24 over the past two seasons, including the infamous Butt Fumble. After all these years in football, college and pro, Sanchez still has a tendency to hold the ball with one hand in the pocket. Lee is on a mission to correct that.

"It’s been so hard for him to keep his left hand on the football," Lee said Wednesday, addressing reporters for the first time since he was hired in January. "[Tuesday], for the first time, he had three situations where he kept two hands on the ball. That’s after nine OTA practices and minicamp. It’s something he doesn’t do naturally. ... Rex [Ryan] told me when he hired me, 'If you can get him to hold on to the ball, we'll get a whole lot better in a hurry.'"

Sanchez laughed off The Sanchez Drill.

"[Coach] Lee threw me under the bus there," he joked, saying the drill is like a "Hack-a-Shaq."

Unlike many coaches, Lee doesn't pull any punches. He offered a rather blunt assessment of Sanchez.

"Fifty-two turnovers in two years is not conducive to winning in our league," he said. "Mark can win in this league. He has proven that. He’s played for championships. I'm blatantly honest, brutally truthful at times. I told him, 'Hey, the best thing you can do to help our football team -- the No.1 thing -- is take care of the ball."