FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — Rex Ryan is standing by Mark Sanchez as his quarterback.
Despite considering pulling a struggling Sanchez from a loss to Miami on Sunday, the New York Jets coach insisted he still has confidence in him.
“Mark is our quarterback, he’s my quarterback,” Ryan said Monday. “He’ll always be our starting quarterback. Even if I did yank him for whatever reason, he’s our quarterback. We’re going to go as far as he takes us.”
Sanchez was 17 of 44 for 216 yards and an interception, his 12th of the season, in New York’s 10-6 loss. After not throwing an interception in his first five games, Sanchez has at least one in each of the last eight.
“It starts with me,” Sanchez said after the game. “I need to be the guy to turn it around.”
He misfired often Sunday, but had a few good passes dropped — including a sure touchdown by Santonio Holmes, who was uncovered in the back left corner of the end zone.
“Mark, he’s the quarterback, so of course he feels that he should (shoulder the blame), but it’s not just Mark,” wide receiver Brad Smith said. “It’s the receivers to the offensive line, the running backs. All of us have to do better at executing. Just play the game the way we know how to play it and we’ll be fine and stop worrying about all the other stuff.”
Ryan said he spoke with Sanchez after watching the game film and told him he needs to improve his footwork.
“It accounted for quite a few plays,” Ryan said. “He wasn’t accurate with the football on several of his throws. You can’t throw the ball if you’re not set and ready to throw in a football position, in a throwing position.”
Ryan considered benching Sanchez in the third quarter, but decided against putting Mark Brunell in because the second-year quarterback has led the Jets to a handful of comeback victories this season.
“It dawned on me because we were struggling so badly on offense that sometimes when you do put a (new) quarterback in, sometimes you can get a shot in the arm,” Ryan said. “When I thought about it, I was like, ‘You know what? This young man has helped us.'”
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.