Sanchez: Teams want to beat Rex
December, 20, 2011
By Mike Mazzeo | ESPNNewYork.com
Jets coach Rex Ryan loves guaranteeing wins and making bold statements.
He’s already guaranteed a Super Bowl title for the Jets this season, and on Monday, he made headlines by saying his Jets were “better” than the Giants. The two teams will play one another in the Battle of New York on Christmas Eve.
Fans love Ryan’s bravado -- as does the media -- but is it detrimental to his team? Does it fire up the opposition?
“I don’t know,” quarterback Mark Sanchez said in an interview with Stephen A. Smith on ESPN New York 1050’s “The Michael Kay Show.” “Other teams see that I’m sure and they’re not playing against Rex, but once again he’s speaking for the team, and I’m sure [opposing teams] wanna win maybe that much more. But that’s fine and that’s something I’ve learned to adjust to and I’m really excited that he’s my coach. I couldn’t have anybody better.”
Sanchez said Ryan’s motivation tactics are “different then anything he’s ever experienced.”
“But, at the same time, he knows how to motivate players and knows how to get guys excited for games,” Sanchez said. “Coming off a tough loss last week there’s nothing more important to us than getting back out on the field and playing and trying to get a win. So, I think whatever kind of pressure he puts on us -- saying we’re gonna win the game or guaranteeing Super Bowls or whatever -- he’s just trying to get us to play as best as we can and doing everything he knows how to do it.
“That’s encouraging as a player to know that your coach has that kind of confidence in you. And he’s willing to say anything to help us accomplish our goals and win games.”
Coming off an embarrassing 45-19 defeat in Philadelphia, Sanchez encouraged fans to “hang in there.”
The Jets quarterback also deflected a question about him being an elite NFL quarterback, saying “that’s up for everyone else to decide.” Sanchez has completed 56.9 percent of his passes, thrown for 3,009 yards, 23 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.
“I definitely think I’ve taken a step forward,” Sanchez said. “I don’t think our record shows that ... but my touchdowns are up and my interceptions are down.”
Sanchez’s counterpart, Giants signal-caller Eli Manning, made headlines before the season started when he said he felt he belonged in the conversation when it comes to “elite” quarterbacks in the NFL.
“He’s having a Pro Bowl year, and he backed up what he said. He’s playing with confidence and it really shows,” Sanchez said.
Listen to Sanchez's comments here