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Thursday, September 16, 2010
Bruschi: Sanchez a tanking front-runner

By Tim Graham

If ESPN just can get Tedy Bruschi to stop pulling punches, then he might have a future as an entertaining studio analyst.

In an "NFL Live" segment that previewed Sunday's showdown between the New England Patriots and New York Jets at the Meadowlands, Bruschi zeroed in on one player in particular.

"I've got a big concern with the New York Jets, and that's the quarterback, and that's a huge concern," Bruschi said. "As you saw in the offseason, all the confidence that Rex Ryan has, it exudes to his team.

"But when Sanchez gets going and things are going well, I think he's a great quarterback. His attitude is infectious. He's a leader of that team. But when things go bad I think he tanks it. Right now I see Mark Sanchez as a front-runner, and that's not something that you want at that quarterback position.

"A quarterback should have to lead his team when you’re down one point with two minutes left to go on Monday night. You should have that sort of aura about yourself that wants to lead your team down the field."

Sanchez was 10 of 21 for 74 yards in Monday night's home loss to the Baltimore Ravens. On the Jets' two possessions after Nick Folk kicked a field goal to pull within a point with 10:29 to play, Sanchez completed three of his eight attempts for 27 yards and was sacked once.

Bruschi and Mark Schlereth both picked the Patriots to remain unbeaten and keep the Jets winless.