Mark Sanchez on the Jets Pursuing Peyton Manning: “I honestly totally understood what was going on. It didn’t bother me.”March 16, 2012 – 5:30 am by Steven Cuce
Give Mark Sanchez some credit here. The Jets signal caller has been taking abuse from former and current teammates in the press since the season had concluded after a disappointing finish to a year that began with high expectations. All the blame has fallen squarely on No.6, and to make matters worse, Peyton Manning became available on the market. The theory that New York should just cut bait on Sanchez and turn their attention to Peyton Manning was a ridiculous notion to begin with, but the speculation machine began to gain some steam.
All along the Jets appeared to have little intention to go after Manning. After all, while reportedly exploring the possibility of signing Manning, the Jets were busy negotiating an extension for Sanchez. Manning never wanted to be a Jet and he would have never fit there. I strongly recommend for any Jets fan to take a listen to the following interview. Sanchez doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to the tough questions and the interview spans a wide variety of all the controversies surrounding the quarterback since January.
Mark Sanchez joined ESPN New York with The Michael Kay Show to discuss his feelings on the New York Jets allegedly going after Peyton Manning, being confused that the Jets were going after Manning while he was negotiating a contract extension, sitting behind Peyton Manning if the Jets signed him, his thoughts on his teammates ripping him anonymously to the New York media, finding out who ripped him anonymously to the press, and being an elite quarterback in the NFL.
What was your feelings on the Jets interest in Peyton Manning? Did it bother you?
“I honestly totally understood what was going on. I think every team has their duty to make their team the best as possible. Obviously you have a first ballot Hall of Famer out there. There’s probably 25 teams in the league that took a look and all 25 of those teams had a starting quarterback last year, so I get it. That is the business side of this game, but at the same time this recent contract, those negotiations are going on fairly soon after the season, so I wasn’t really worried about it. Only thing I could really control was preparing and starting my workouts and getting physically ready for April 16th when we report back to the team, so it didn’t bother me.”
That’s gotta be a little odd. Your camp is working on a contract extension and the Jets are looking at Peyton Manning. Were you a little confused?
“Not really. I think you know obviously that is going to get blown up a little more than it really was. I think Mr.Johnson was pretty adamant about his feelings the other day in the paper. Somebody showed me that, which obviously feels good when someone feels that great about you and that means the world to me that he believes in me that way, so it really didn’t bother me and that’s the way things go. There’s a business side to this thing as much as we love playing and you see everything on the field. There is another aspect to this league, so I understand that.”
If the Jets signed Peyton Manning would you have been willing to sit behind him and watch for a couple of years and learn from him?
“Come on. Come on. I am not going to get into hypotheticals here. I don’t do that.”
What are your thoughts on some of your teammates taking shots at you in the press after the seasons had ended, but didn’t own up to it by giving our their names?
“I mean you said it right there. It is a gutless thing to do. You don’t put your name on what you are saying? You don’t speak for yourself? You don’t speak for the team? That is always how I felt about that. If I ever had an opinion on a player or something I wanted to talk to them about I would just tell them or go with them and their position coach and say, ‘Hey man let’s talk. Let’s go to dinner. Let’s sit down in the facility and talk about it.’ That’s not the way to do it. That’s not a professional way to do it and it really didn’t bother me. I think that kind of stuff happens. Guys get frustrated. We have a bunch of competitive players and that’s the way somebody chose to do it that’s fine. It really didn’t bother me. You saw Nick Mangold went on your show right away. He didn’t have to do that, but that means the world to me that he would do that, but he didn’t have to do that and it did mean a lot.”
Is there a part of you Mark that does want to found out who did say that stuff about you to the New York press?
“No I don’t care. That’s honestly the last thing on my mind. They only time I ever think about it is when people ask me about it. It’s just…I heard about it and alright that was it. You move on. No big deal.”
I’ll ask you the question that got Eli Manning such publicity. Are you an elite quarterback now?
“We better find out next year.”