- Jane McManus, Reporter & Columnist, espnW.com
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Teams in the NFL may struggle with chemistry when they are able to practice after the lockout is lifted, but Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez thinks his team will be better off than most.
“I think the lack of structure hurts every team but I think we’re fortunate because we have the veteran leaders like LaDanian Tomlinson, Darrelle Revis, Nick Mangold — guys who are perennial Pro Bowlers — Bart Scott, Dave Harris. These guys know what it takes to condition themselves and it’s not that they don’t need coaching, but when there’s a lack of coaching they know how to make up for it.”
Sanchez, on SportsCenter and several other media outlets this morning to promote a charitable venture with Sam’s Club, said that those veterans had helped to organize some of the east coast workouts that many players had participated in.
Still, Sanchez is ready for the NFL lockout to end so that the Jets can start getting ready for the season.
“It’s beyond frustrating now, it’s time to play,” Sanchez said. “I think as a football player, even as a youngster, you have that timeclock go off right in mid-July, right about now. It’s time to go. It’s time to make that final push and I’m ready for training camp to start so it would really be a problem if things don’t start for fans, let alone for the financial aspects for the league and players and owners. But this goes beyond a lot of that, so we’re ready to play.”
Sanchez was drafted in coach Rex Ryan’s first season as coach, and has been aboard as Ryan has made Super Bowl predictions that, to some, may seem the two AFC championship games the Jets have reached in the two years since seem like a disappointment.
“I think we’ve accomplished so much these first couple years, but we’ve come up just short,” Sanchez said. “He’s honest to us, he’s honest to the public and as a leader on this team that’s my goal as well — to hoist that trophy to have a parade here in New York. And we’re planning on doing it this year and Rex doesn’t want to hear anything about anything else.”
He said he wanted the Jets to keep Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards, as well as Brad Smith this season. All three wide receivers are potentially free agents this season pending the details of a new collective bargaining agreement.