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Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Analysis: Sanchez says all the right things

By Rich Cimini

MORRISTOWN, N.J. -- Mark Sanchez conducted his first job interview Tuesday.

Sanchez
Speaking to reporters at the Community Soup Kitchen of Morristown, where he volunteered to help feed the homeless, the injured quarterback painted a rosy picture of all things Sanchez.

Surgically repaired throwing shoulder? Feels great. Better than great. He actually used the word "bionic."

Desire to remain with the New York Jets in 2014? Couldn't be greater. His dream team. He wants to play forever with the Jets.

Speculation that he's a goner? Refuses to believe it.

Sanchez, ending his two-month media silence with a scheduled, 10-minute session with reporters, began the process of selling himself to prospective employers. He was witty, engaging, upbeat and self-deprecating. (He poked fun at himself for his recent, headline-grabbing hairstyle -- corn rows, which, in case you're wondering, lasted only two days.)

He knows the cold truth -- there's no chance he will return to the Jets -- but he took the high road, expressing no bitterness about the preventable injury that wrecked his season. He also refused to criticized his offensive teammates, who have been stinking it up in recent weeks.

Aside from doing some good in the community, the event provided positive public relations for Sanchez. He knows there isn't a big market for disgruntled quarterbacks coming off major surgery, especially quarterbacks on a two-year regression.

It would take some crazy developments for him to return next season. Sanchez, signed through 2016, has a $13.1 million cap charge next season. General manager John Idzik would sooner appear on "Letterman" than pay that wage to Sanchez. The Jets are rebuilding at quarterback, starting with Geno Smith. There's no telling who they will add in the offseason to compete with Smith, but it won't be Smith versus Sanchez, Part II.

Looking out for his future, Sanchez gave predictable answers to about a dozen reporters. It would've been crass to unload on teammates or the organization at a charitable function. He did, however, take a veiled shot at former players who have criticized the team in the past. Presumably, he was referring to LaDainian Tomlinson.

Asked to comment on the current offensive struggles, Sanchez said: "I don't want to be critical of those guys. I've been in that situation, and I've seen guys that have played with us, and move on, be critical of us. It's like, 'Come on, you were just here last year. Why would you do that?' That's not really my thing. I root for those guys."

Interesting. He sounded like a player who knows he's gone. But on this day, Sanchez was all about spreading good vibes. Talk about an ironic location for the interview:

The Church of the Redeemer.