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Category: Mark Sanchez

Mark Sanchez defended by Jets teammates


Several New York Jets players rushed to the defense of quarterback Mark Sanchez, who was criticized by an anonymous teammate earlier in the week.

"Mark is heading in the right direction," left guard Matt Slauson told the Associated Press. "He is going to be a great quarterback and I really believe he can lead us to a championship. His rookie year, we went to the AFC championship and again last year. The guy can do it. He can get it done. The rest of the team has to do their part too."

The New York Daily News quoted one player, who was not identified, as saying Sanchez was "lazy and content." Another player suggested the Jets should bring in Peyton Manning.

"Whoever said all that, they're out of their minds and just trippin'," defensive lineman Marcus Dixon said. "You can't blame a season on one guy. I mean, come on. It's all unfair. We have Mark Sanchez. He's our quarterback. He's our guy. And that's how just about everyone in that locker room feels."

Center Nick Mangold defended Sanchez on Twitter, saying he "very much so, 100 percent" believes in Sanchez.

Dixon also told AP that Sanchez gathered the team's running backs, wide receivers, tight ends and other quarterbacks last off-season to work on team chemistry.

"If that's someone who doesn't know how to be a leader or have a good work ethic, then I don't know, man," Dixon said.

Retired Jets right tackle Damien Woody, was also critical of Sanchez on ESPN (Woody is now an analyst with the network).

"They definitely need to bring in a viable backup, a viable backup to really provide that competition, because with competition, you are going to rise or you are just going to crumble," Woody said. "So I think you bring in a viable backup and let it play out. We'll see which Mark Sanchez shows up after that."


Kyle Prater heading to Wisconsin or Northwestern

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Chris Dufresne's top (or bottom) 10 college football moments

-- Houston Mitchell

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


USC football: Matt Barkley is Pac-12 offensive player of the week


After passing for a record-tying five touchdowns and leading USC to victory over Syracuse, Trojans quarterback Matt Barkley on Monday was selected as the Pacific 12 Conference offensive player of the week.

Barkley threw touchdown passes to tight end Rhett Ellison, receivers Robert Woods and Marqise Lee and tight ends Randall Telfer and Xavier Grimble in the Trojans' 38-17 victory.

It was the third time that Barkley passed for five touchdowns. He did it last season at Hawaii and against California.

USC Coach Lane Kiffin was low-key on Saturday night, saying Barkley played well.

But upon reviewing the game tape, Kiffin said Barkley was "awesome" against the Orange.

"I think we have become accustomed around here to seeing those kinds of performances," Kiffin said Sunday night. "Those types of days don't happen very often across the country."

Rodney Peete, Carson Palmer, Matt Leinart and Mark Sanchez also passed for five touchdowns at USC.

Barkley completed 26 of 39 passes for 324 yards, without an interception. He has passed for nine touchdowns, with only one interception, this season.

More later at

--Gary Klein

Photo: USC quarterback Matt Barkley sets the Trojans at the line of scrimmage during Saturday's 38-17 victory over Syracuse. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

Mark Sanchez takes playful jab at Pete Carroll

Sanchez_300 Mark Sanchez just couldn't resist.

The first-year NFL quarterback, after helping the New York Jets to a wild-card-round win over the Cincinnati Bengals on Saturday, said this to reporters about his former college coach, USC's Pete Carroll:

"Speaking of Coach Carroll, I just want everyone to know, I completely disagree with his decision to go to the NFL," he said, smiling broadly, his comments met by laughter. "Statistics show that it's not a good choice.

"No, I'm just kidding. I talked to coach a bunch. I told him I was gonna hammer him about it, but I wish him the best whatever happens, whether he stays in school or not."

Carroll, you might recall, was critical of Sanchez's choice to leave USC after the 2008 season, with one year of college eligibility remaining.

Sounds like Sanchez not only has a strong arm, but also a long memory. Plus a good sense of humor and timing.

Carroll is close to becoming coach of the NFL's Seattle Seahawks.

-- Mike Hiserman

Photo: Mark Sanchez signals to the Jets sideline during New York's 24-14 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals on Saturday. Credit: Ed Reinke / Associated Press

Mark Sanchez sorry for eating hot dog during Jets win

 Former USC and current New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez was caught eating a hot dog on the sidelines during Sunday's blowout victory over the Oakland Raiders.

Sanchez later apologized saying he was feeling nauseated and needed to eat something to settle his stomach.

-- Houston Mitchell

Pete Carroll talks about Mark Sanchez's welcome-to-the-NFL moment

Caroll_240 Mark Sanchez's performance against the Baltimore Ravens on "Monday Night Football" was apparently good enough to earn the former USC quarterback a starting job with the New York Jets.

Sanchez got hit hard by linebacker Ray Lewis, had his first pass intercepted and returned for a touchdown and barely missed having another pass picked off.

But he finished with a touchdown pass, impressing USC Coach Pete Carroll.

"He got banged around a little bit by big Ray -- what a great introduction to what the league can be like," Carroll said, chuckling.

Carroll, a former head coach of the Jets and New England Patriots, spoke to Sanchez late Monday night.

"He was grateful he made it out and made a little progress," Carroll said. "He was disappointed he didn't get off to a good start but it was a reality check. ... He got indoctrinated a little bit in a hurry there. He was real upbeat about it and all that, so it was fun to watch him in that setting.

"The cool thing is he realized by his performance that how you start isn't necessarily how you are. And he hung with it. He knew he had to get focused and stay in there and he did a good job and finished very strongly and accomplished something special in that regard."

-- Gary Klein

Photo: USC head coach Pete Caroll in Charlottesville, Va. last August. Photo credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times.

USC's Mitch Mustain dealing with academic eligibility issues

Mustain_300 USC quarterback Mitch Mustain is attempting to resolve academic issues that could affect his eligibility for the coming season, Coach Pete Carroll confirmed Monday.

Carroll would not specify the issues and said there was "no timeline" or deadline for Mustain to resolve them. The Trojans report for training camp Aug. 7 and open their season Sept. 5 against San Jose State.

Asked if Mustain would be eligible if USC played tomorrow, Carroll said, "We don't have a game tomorrow." Mustain could not be reached for comment.

Mustain, a fourth-year junior who transferred to USC from Arkansas in 2007, finished spring practice third on the depth chart behind sophomore Aaron Corp and freshman Matt Barkley.

Mustain has said he would not consider transferring and that he's close to graduating from USC. If Mustain were ineligible, senior Garrett Green would become the No. 3 quarterback.

Mustain left Arkansas after a tumultuous 2006 season during which he went 8-0 as a freshman starter. He had hoped to challenge Mark Sanchez to become the Trojans starter in 2008, but he spent most of the season as a back-up and was third on the depth chart behind Sanchez and Corp for the Rose Bowl last January.

Sanchez's departure for the NFL created a spring practice competition to become his successor. Corp played nearly error free, and Barkley showed uncommon arm strength and poise for a first-year player, leaving Mustain third.

-- Gary Klein

Photo: Quarterback Mitch Mustain goes through the paces during spring practice at USC. Credit: Kirby Lee / US Presswire

Sanchez agrees to terms with Jets

Mark As you might recall, USC Coach Pete Carroll wasn't exactly pleased when quarterback Mark Sanchez announced he was leaving the Trojans to turn pro.

Sanchez went on to become the No. 5 pick overall by the New York Jets.

It remains to be seen how Sanchez's NFL career will play out, but it already has been an enriching experience. The New York Daily News is reporting that Sanchez has agreed to a five-year contract that includes $28 million in guarantees.

-- Gary Klein

Photo: Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez takes part in drills during minicamp. Credit: Bill Kostroun / Associated Press

NFL rookies: So you think you can dance?

Earlier this month, NFL rookies descended on the L.A. Coliseum for the greatest collection of football talent since whenever USC last played a home game.

The event, essentially a giant photo shoot, allowed the NFL newbies to show off their best touchdown dance ... or invent one. Apparently Mark Sanchez got creative with new teammate Shonn Greene, though the recently released video (above) only features a traditional goal post dunk from the former Trojan.

In case you missed it, Brian Kamenetzky interviewed Sanchez that afternoon for the Forum.

-- Adam Rose

NFL offseason roundup: Terrell Owens reads teleprompter, Mark Sanchez wears short-shorts

There are some things NFL players can do during the offseason that they probably don't have time for starting around August. If you're Terrell Owens, you start practicing your broadcasting career:

And if you're Mark Sanchez, you show off your abs to a supermodel. Than again, that's nothing special once you reach Tom Brady status.

-- Adam Rose

Talking with: Mark Sanchez

Saturday afternoon, I had a chance to stop by the Coliseum for the annual NFL Players Rookie Premiere, an event in which many of the top newbies from the most recent draft get to do all the fun stuff (put on the full uniform, get bubble gum card photos taken, get scanned to appear in video games -- Did I mention the event is sponsored by EA Sports? -- among other things.  All that, plus some less-fun duties, like signing endless amounts of gear. 

It's a busy day for all the rookies involved, but I managed to get a few minutes with former USC quarterback Mark Sanchez, drafted fifth overall by the New York Jets. 

Q: I know you did a mini-camp in New York, but this is the first time you've put on the full VE8Q5883 uniform, right?

Yeah. I've looked forward to playing in the NFL, and now I'm finally here.  It's cool.  Coming out of the locker room --  and not just any locker room, because this is where I played, and walking down the tunnel in my Jets uniform, it's a special feeling.  I'm excited to be part of the event, and what NFL Players is doing is great. 

Q: Were you checking yourself out in the mirror just a little bit longer? Just to take it in?

Continue reading »

More from ex-Jets on Mark Sanchez

Jets rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez receives a personalized New York Mets jersey from Ryan Church (19), J.J. Putz, second from right, and David Wright (5), before throwing out the opening pitch at a Mets' baseball game against the Florida Marlins.

I've gotten a lot of feedback today on my story about former New York Jets quarterbacks offering advice and/or insights to USC's Mark Sanchez. Because of space limitations, I could only include so much in the article. But those players had a lot to say, so here's a bit more from them:

Ray Lucas

On Jets fans: "They don’t tolerate anything. I remember when Santa Claus was dropping in with a parachute and he missed the target and he got booed. That’s what he’s coming into. The New Yorkers, the Jersey guys, they don’t tolerate much. They spend their good money to watch you play, and they want to see good football.

"Raiders fans can’t touch Jets fans. I don’t care if it’s rain, sleet, snow, that stadium is packed always. And the insult comes always -- I’ve heard things I’ve never heard in my life. And coming from where I come from in Jersey, which is the slums, I was even shocked."

Continue reading »

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