Earlier in the week reports surfaced regarding the New York Jets privately exploring options at quarterback for 2012 in the event that Peyton Manning becomes available. Rex Ryan has come out and adamantly defended his signal caller. Mark Sanchez isn’t worrying about his future with the Jets right now because he’s focused all his attention on the Miami Dolphins. Who can blame him? The former USC Trojan continues to handle criticism extremely well in the Big Apple. He will look to rise above once again after a shaky performance against the New York Giants and hope that the Jets get the help they need to somehow back in to the playoffs in the 17th and final week of the NFL season. Mark Sanchez joined ESPN Radio New York with Stephen A. Smith on The Michael Kay Show to discuss the loss to the New York Giants, being distracted last week by the banter coming from Rex Ryan, his evaluation of his performance against the New York Giants, the Jets’ season being a failure if they don’t make the playoffs, people who are questioning his long term future in New York, and Rex Ryan defending him.
What on earth happened last Saturday against the New York Giants?
“Well a number of things. I think speaking from an offensive perspective we just didn’t execute in important points of the game. We definitely didn’t play our very best. The Giants credit them and hats off to them for playing well especially when they needed to down the stretch and we just didn’t have enough to finish the game. We started off well and kind of hit a lull right around halftime and couldn’t pull ourselves out of the hole that we were digging ourselves.”
Did you feel you guys were distracted by banter whether it be from your head coach or players or anything like that?
“No I don’t think so. Any time you lose it’s easy to point out some things that might be excuses and things like that, but that’s not the way…I don’t feel comfortable talking about that. I don’t think that’s the reason why we lost. I think we missed assignments. I think we missed reads. I think we missed throws and speaking from my perspective we gotta get better than that and we gotta focus and win this week and try to get into the playoffs.”
How comfortable are you with your performance on Saturday?
“Well I think just like our performance on offense – it was just a little inconsistent. It was great at times. Like I said the first drive, a couple of the touchdown drives were great and then we get all the way down to the one-yard line and fumble the snap. That goes to show you the kind of day we had. It really was unfortunate because we prepared well and were ready to play. We just didn’t play our very best.”
How will you consider this season if you don’t end up making the postseason?
“Anytime you do not accomplish your goals that’s considered a failure at least in my book. That doesn’t mean we don’t have the pieces. That doesn’t mean that we didn’t have opportunities. That just means we didn’t capitalize on those opportunities, so to me unless we are playing in the Super Bowl each year those are the kind of standards we set for ourselves. We had made the goal earlier in our season to win the division. We didn’t accomplish that. Here we are fighting for our lives at the end of the season and that’s just fine. Whatever it takes to get in. Our main goal is still there for us and all we can do is access the end of the season when that time comes and hopefully it’s not after this week.”
What do you say to the people questioning the future of Mark Sanchez in a Jets uniform?
“Well I’m not here to defend why I should be the quarterback. I think when it comes to work ethic and things like that the people in the building know how hard I work and how much I care about playing here and how much I love this team and the franchise. All we can control is this next week. Like I said we will assess the offseason when that time comes. I’m not anticipating it being after this Sunday. I think our season can continue if some things happen and the most important thing that needs to happen is us beating Miami, so that’s where my focus is at. I’ll be excited to play here at any point. I don’t anticipate that changing.”
What are your thoughts on Rex Ryan defending you being the quarterback of the future for the Jets on this show yesterday?
“I think coach has a great deal of respect for me and I share that same respect for him. He knows he’s seen flashes of a great quarterback in me and he’s also seens some bonehead mistakes. I think when he is talking about being a great quarterback that just means being consistent. That’s what I am striving for. I think all that stuff is in the near future and I’m working toward it every week. At this point we have to beat Miami and that’s the most important thing on my mind. Then from then on we’ll assess things at the end of the season, but it’s a steady improvement. It does take time, but I’m trying to expedite that process and move things along as swiftly as possible. Whatever that takes? If it’s extra time in the facility I am more then eager to do that. If Rex thinks – if it was any kind of work ethic issue he would have brought that up to me, but he knows how hard I work and how excited I am to come to work every day and play for the guys around me, so it’s a process. Like I said I’m learning a lot on the fly in these first three years and we’ve had some amount of success, but there’s more success on the way. I know it.’