Jets Sticking With Struggling Mark Sanchez


Jets Sticking With Struggling Mark Sanchez FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Rex Ryan is sticking with Mark
as his starting quarterback.

At least for now.

Ryan remained committed to the rookie after Sanchez's
miserable performance that included five interceptions in the New York Jets'
16-13 overtime loss to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. The fifth overall pick out
of Southern California has mostly struggled since beating out Kellen Clemens for
the job in the preseason.

"We've got the right guy," Ryan said Monday.

Sanchez is tied with Carolina's Jake Delhomme for the
league lead in interceptions with 10, and his 56.7 quarterback rating is higher
than only Oakland's JaMarcus Russell and Cleveland's Derek Anderson.

"I just think we've got to do a great job at looking at
what we're asking this young man to do," Ryan said. "Do we need to cut things
back? Are there things that we could do to put on somebody else's plate to take
some things off his plate?

"I have a lot of confidence in Mark."

Sanchez was 10-of-29 for 119 yards Sunday in the 16-13
overtime loss, the Jets' third straight. It wasted a franchise-record 210 yards
rushing by Thomas Jones on a day in which the Jets ran for 318 yards, second
most in team history.

"We win as a team and we lose as a team," right tackle
Damien Woody
said. "He knows the mistakes he made. When you're winning and
everything's going well, the quarterback always gets almost too much of the
glory, and when you lose, he gets too much of the blame."

Sanchez was hard on himself after the game, appearing
almost on the verge of tears at times during his postgame news conference.

"I really let this team down and there's no excuse for
that," he said. "I have a lot of work to do."

Sanchez wasn't made available to the media Monday; he
usually only speaks on Wednesdays and after games.

"Was it just the play of Mark Sanchez that got us beat?
No," Ryan said. "We have to realize that this isn't a guy that's played 20 years
in the league. Whatever it is, he's got an unbelievable amount of talent. We all
see it. We know what he's going to be in the future, but we've got to be smart
with him."

Ryan said he wasn't concerned about Sanchez's
confidence, despite shots of the quarterback sitting on the bench looking
shell-shocked at times during Sunday's game.

"He's resilient," Ryan said. "He's going to bounce back
from this. I believe that. He's mad at himself because he thinks he let his team

Sanchez had a solid debut at Houston, throwing for 272
yards and a touchdown in a victory. He threw for 163 yards and a score the
following week against New England, and had 171 yards passing and two TDs
against Tennessee in Week 3 — and earning the nickname "Sanchize" for his play.

Then, Sanchez threw three interceptions at New Orleans
before bouncing back last Monday with what he called his "best game" throwing
for 172 yards and a TD. Still, he has one touchdown pass and eight interceptions
in his last three games, all losses.

"I've got supreme confidence in Mark," Woody said. "He's
our quarterback and he's just going to get better. He's going to learn. It was
definitely a tough outing for him (Sunday), but he knows that in order to be
successful in this league, you've just got to take care of the ball better."

Ryan said he thought about pulling Sanchez in favor of
Clemens, but decided the rookie still gave the Jets a better chance to win. That
might be as much an indictment on Clemens as it is a vote of confidence for

"My role each week is to be ready if I'm called upon,"
said Clemens, who has eight NFL starts in three-plus seasons. "Each week, it's a
good thing if I'm not called upon because then Mark's playing pretty good and
staying healthy."

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