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Sunday, February 22, 2009
Three questions with Mark Sanchez

By Kevin Seifert
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert

INDIANAPOLIS -- It's not exactly breaking news to reveal that Detroit has devoted a few more resources to Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford during the annual scouting combine than USC quarterback Mark Sanchez. While Stafford had dinner with all of the Lions' top brass, Sanchez lunched with offensive coordinator Scott Linehan.

 
  Jody Gomez/US Presswire
  Mark Sanchez threw 34 touchdown passes in 2008.

It's hard to imagine Sanchez as a candidate for the No. 1 overall pick at this point, but he can't be ruled out at the Lions' second pick at No. 20. So let's run through three questions with the player widely considered to be the second-best quarterback available in the 2009 draft.

You only started 16 games in college but USC has a pro-style passing offense. Can that help minimize the experience factor?

Mark Sanchez: That pro-style system really helps with the transition. While there might be different terminology, it's still the same language. For us, our protections and things like that I'm already starting to find out they cross right over. While they might have a different name, a lot of our route combinations and our progressions and our reads just have a different name. So for me that's great. I've heard similar things from [former USC quarterbacks Matt] Leinart, from [Carson] Palmer, from [Matt] Cassel, from John David [Booty]. All guys playing in the league. That speaks volumes for our program and the quarterbacks we produce.

Who did you meet with from the Lions?

MS: With Linehan. Everything's been great. Had fun. Mostly talked about family life, school. They're all excited hearing that I'm going to graduate
in May. That's a big deal. Really big deal to my parents, so they were happy to hear that. Asked about my older brothers and my upbringing. Stuff like that.

Stafford decided not to throw at the combine. Why did you decide to do it?

MS: It's neither here or there to me whether he throws or not. That's just me. I've got to do it. I feel like I want to do it. I'm a competitive person. I want to win, and that's what I'm about. It would kill me not to throw. Too fun.