Dysfunction and ineptitude best characterize Mark Sanchez's 2012 regular season, but often times the promise of new hope and a fresh season can revitalize even the most broken down quarterbacks. As Sanchez looks to put the struggles of last year behind him, the former ‘Sanchize' is focused on the power of positive thinking to get himself and the team back on track.
"I feel the best I've felt in a while and I feel like I'm putting together one of my best offseasons and just got to keep rolling," said Sanchez. "You have a tough day, you have a tough pass, a tough couple of practices, whatever it is, you've got to roll through it."
A changing of the guard in the front office can completely transform a franchise and, in the Jets case, it looks like a minor overhaul has been in the works to plant the proper foundation. That includes hiring offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg and quarterback coach David Lee to guide either the rookie quarterback or the embattled Sanchez.
"I just feel like Marty does a heck of a job relaying information, communicating to different players who might learn differently," said Sanchez. "You add Coach Lee in there with every drill known to man, whether it's a ball security drill, a reset drill, an escape drill, a throwaway drill, he's got it all."
Working with the new coordinators isn't his most difficult challenge, though. Working with new sets and formations is one thing, but practicing them without the core of your team, especially Santonio Holmes, is another.
"Well, he's picking up the system, said Sanchez of his top receiving target in Holmes. "He can't wait to get back on the field and we can't wait to get him out there. He's one of those guys who really thinks the game and always wants to know what I'm thinking, what I was looking at."
Holmes has been rehabbing from the Lisfranc injury that he suffered against the San Francisco 49ers in the fourth game of last season. Holmes is still aiming for Week 1 as his official return date.
Playing second fiddle to Holmes is second-year wideout, Stephen Hill. Hill had his fair share of struggles last year, but ended up finishing the season with 21 catches, 252 yards, and two touchdowns.
"Yeah, he's been practicing a little bit, noted Sanchez of Hill. "Doing a lot of individual drills, but he's still getting his feet under him. "Getting his legs back. Getting back in the swing of things. He's been going crazy in that weight room and the training room."
Hill will be a key weapon for Sanchez if he wants to stretch the field in order to keep opposing defenses honest. Sanchez will need refine his accuracy and improving his coverage recognition if he wants to avoid his title of "Worst QBR rating since 2009". It will be integral, first, for Hill to get back on the field.
"It gives guys a good break but it also puts the responsibility on players to come back in shape so we're not wasting time with guys having injuries and things like that," said Sanchez. "This is the time where guys need to be healthy; we need to get this timing down," said Sanchez.
The job isn't just going to be handed to Sanchez. Smith was taken in the second round of the draft. Many pundits felt that Smith was the best quarterback in the draft due to his uncanny accuracy and mobility within the pocket.
"I think he's done well," mentioned Sanchez of Smith's performance during minicamp. "He works hard. He's done his best to get completions like we all are. We know that we are playing against one of the best defensive units year in and year out so we take that into account, but that can't be an excuse for us."
It just always comes down to what Sanchez can do himself. Beating out Smith, Greg McElroy, and Matt Simms is important, but playing at his highest level is of the utmost importance to him. That may be why he's been bursting with positive energy this time around.
"I just feel comfortable. Marty said it the other day, it's something I would never say, but he's already went out there and said it, but accuracy wise, I just feel great."