It hasn’t been pretty the last two weeks, but life in the National Football League rarely is. All that matters for the New York Jets is that they finished off the Detroit Lions and Cleveland Browns on the road in overtime the past two weeks to improve their record to 7-2. The Jets are tied with New England for the top spot in the AFC East, and the entire conference. Second-year quarterback Mark Sanchez leads the Jets back home to the Meadowlands the next two weeks for home dates against the Houston Texans and Cincinnati Bengals. The Texans, though slumping, should put up a good fight considering they can just about kiss the playoffs goodbye with a loss.
Sanchez joined KLAC in Los Angeles with Petros and Money to talk about Santonio Holmes’ emergence the past two weeks, how other guys on offense are just as responsible for the Jets recent wins, how hard it is to win each week in the NFL even against perceived bottom feeders, how he’s learned to keep his emotions in check on the field – both the highs and the lows – and how the raccoon hats he’s been wearing around Manhattan were picked up for $3 bucks a pop by his Pops at a thrift store.
On Santonio Holmes being the big-play guy late in games the last two weeks:
“Well he’s so explosive, he’s played in such big games, he knows when it’s a crunch-time situation, and he always seems to make plays. But it kind of led to Santonio making a big play by other guys making big plays. From Dustin Keller making big plays over the middle last week in the Detroit game and in the Cleveland game. Then Braylon Edwards had some crucial catches on 3rd down, Jericho Cotchery’s hurt half way through the play and he makes a catch. So there’s plays out there to be made, it just happens to be Santonio’s number at the end of the game. But I’m really proud of our guys for sticking it out two weeks in a row in overtime.”
On if there’s cause for concern about needing overtime to beat both Detroit and Cleveland, or if that’s just the typical week-to-week grind of life in the NFL:
“It’s so different and you get each team’s best effort every week, especially after your on a show like Hard Knocks, especially if you have a coach like Rex who’s talking Super Bowl before camp even starts. So, it’s been a good test for us to test our resilience, just to test our meddle a little bit. And hopefully we can win some of these in regulation, that’d be nice.”
On how he’s stayed calm through mistakes and rallied his team late in games:
“Absolutely. Just trying to keep the same demeanor, stay positive, have a winning demeanor the entire game. It’s contagious, the other guys see it. When you’re down, when you hang your head, other guys notice as well. So that stuff can spread throughout an entire team and put you all in a slump, so you want to stay positive, and I’ve been working hard to do it. Brunell’s really helped me with that.”
On how an emotional players like him as actually worked on keeping his emotions in check during games:
“I think celebrating wildly is harder to control than getting upset. If I can control the upset stuff and stay kind of in the middle, and then get excited when we throw touchdowns, that’s fine. But it’s hard, because I’m someone who kind of wears his emotions on his sleeve, and it’s frustrating when things don’t work. You know coaches spend hours during the week, we spend hours during the week watching it on film, repping it in practice, and then it doesn’t work in the game – it’s frustrating. So, it’s just something you have to constantly think about, and have a plan when you do throw an interception, just kind of keep your head up, find a spot up in the third deck, and just walk off the field and kind of stare at that one spot. That’s what I’ve been doing lately, and it keeps you from looking down at the ground. It’s working.”
To conclude, on if he’s picked up any new fashion tips in the Big Apple this fall:
“Well it gets so cold, I have a bunch of those raccoon hats. My dad got them from like a thrift store, and they were probably three dollars. But I wear them on the planes after the games, and when we get off the airplane, it’s so cold that I was wearing it icing down my leg on the plane after the game, and Dustin Keller took a picture of me and tweeted it. So I’ve been getting a lot of heat for this raccoon hat that I’ve been sporting.”