Amidst heavy rain and sloppy field conditions the Jets completed a spirited practice Saturday morning. New York’s quarterbacking duo of Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow took part in passing drills with over 2,500 fans on-hand to catch a glimpse of Gang Green’s odd couple.
Even with the inclement weather, there’s little doubt in Rex Ryan’s mind which gunslinger shined brightest.
“You could see the way Sanchez can really zip the ball today," said Ryan. "You see the confidence he has. It makes no difference. Wet football, wind, I mean when you can spin the ball like he can, it really makes no difference, so I was impressed the way he threw the ball today in those kind of conditions.”
While Sanchez connected on several deep passes with Santonio Holmes, Tebow struggled to find a consistent release point completing less than half of his practice tosses.
Fans in attendance gave the Jets No. 2 quarterback the business as a handful jeered and heckled from the stands.
“No, I thought it was some of the defensive guys,” said Ryan. (Laughter) “No, I’m just kidding. This is the thing is that this is a brand new offense and yet the thing I’ve been most impressed with is that there are very few mental mistakes. Sure, in those kinds of conditions, sometimes the ball with sail on you, sometimes if you over-stride, you’ll dirt the football, and those are things that we worked on with all of our quarterback.”
Speculation has been growing that Tebow could ultimately replace Sanchez, but early indications are that New York’s ‘Sanchize’ is doing everything in his power to keep the starting job. With Tebow slated for Wildcat duties, New York’s coaching staff is working to develop its resurrected specialty package.
“No I don’t think Buffalo should even get ready for the Wildcat to be honest with you,” quipped Ryan. (joking) "But no, I mean clearly we’re going to run some Wildcat, there’s no doubt. We will have some of those times when Tony (Sparano) has it scripted, but we know that’s going to be part of what we do offensively."
With the home opener set for Sunday September 9, Ryan and company are revving their engines with the season fast approaching.
“I’ll tell you this - we’re going to go into every game, against New England or anybody else, and I know how I’m going to be of course," declared Ryan. “I think I’ve never gone into a game that I didn’t think we’d win.”
Even with that must-win mindset the Jets finished 8-8 last year and out of the playoff picture. In spite of Bill Belichick’s Patriots claiming the AFC East crown eight of the past nine seasons, Ryan is not in the business of waving the white flag on New York’s division title hopes.
"Now, do I respect New England and the fact that New England has won our division a zillion times?," noted Ryan. "The three years I’ve been here, they’ve won it all three years. And I don’t think it’s been close. But again, I will never back down and concede to anything. When you talk about conceding the division, yeah right. Not me. There’s no chance here. Not with the Jets."