Mark Sanchez took a few minutes out of his bye week to speak with Fox Sports Radio in Los Angeles, discussing the Jets' No. 1 fan/critic Joe Namath, the fickle nature of New York fans and how his "briefing" sessions with the team's PR department help him handle the big, nasty, unforgiving New York media.
Sanchez said Namath "still cares a lot about the team, I know that," according to a transcript by Sportsradiointerviews.com. "Some of that stuff may be taken out of context and the other stuff, he just wants us to do well, so he is critical of anybody."
Sanchez said he understands the quarterback and the head coach are lightning rods.
"That’s just kind of the roles we bought into, but it’s good when you are playing well, and like I tell people all the time, you beat the Patriots in the divisional game last year and you're wise beyond your years, your footwork is the best, you're making the best reads in the world and you're going to be one of the best quarterbacks ever. And then you lose a couple of games in a row and it’s like, 'Man, this guy isn’t maturing at the right rate, he’s making bad decisions and his footwork sucks.' That’s the way it goes and especially in New York.
"Joe Namath is the ultimate Jet, and he’s probably the biggest icon this franchise has, winning that Super Bowl and guaranteeing it the way he did. We have a lot of respect for him and I know he wants the best out of our team. It’s no big deal.”
Sanchez, speaking on the "Petros and Money Show," provided some insight into how he handles the media.
"I don’t go out and buy a newspaper or whatever, but whenever I do…my press conferences…you are obligated to talk to the media on Wednesdays during the week," he said. "Our PR department kind of lets me know what is going on, so I have a heads up going in that I don’t get caught off guard with a question about Joe Namath or what Rex [Ryan] said to Norv Turner or Darrelle Revis and Mike Francesa. It’s like there's always something.
"They give me a quick little reminder and say, 'Hey, did you hear about this?' I say, 'No, what happened?' It is a cool little five minutes before I go and talk to the media about what is going on, and I get my briefing and then head in and jump in. It’s been fun. Some of it’s funny and some of it is just the way things go.”
Considering the lengths they go to make sure their players don't say the wrong thing, the Jets still have a lot of incidents where the players (and coach) say ... well, the wrong thing. Or hang up on radio talk-show hosts.