NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — Was Mark Sanchez upset at Rex Ryan for nearly benching him last season? Yes, absolutely.

But was he fightin’ mad? Sanchez says no.

The Jets quarterback told GQ for its September issue that he was peeved when Ryan told reporters he would think about sitting him last December after a poor performance.

“I wanted to fight him,” Sanchez told the magazine. “I was really mad.”

Sanchez backed away from the comments on Monday — and even threw a few jabs at his head coach.

“Was I gonna fight Rex? Obviously not,” Sanchez said. “It would be like George Foreman and De La Hoya. He’s way out of my weight class.”

Ryan followed suit.

“I heard he wants to fight me, but that’s a long line,” said Ryan. “Just stay right there. I think he’s still behind Channing Crowder. But that’s what you want. You want that guy who’s competitive. I wanted to send a message that we can bench anybody on this team, with the exception of Revis, obviously.”

The story goes like this: Ryan wanted to give backup Mark Brunell extra snaps during practice after Sanchez struggled in consecutive losses to New England and Miami. After agreeing, Sanchez told the magazine he pushed Brunell away when he walked into the huddle.

When offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer reminded him Ryan wanted Brunell to take snaps, Sanchez snapped back.

“I was like, ‘He can come tell me,'” Sanchez said. “And (Schottenheimer) is like, ‘Come on, man, don’t do that.'”

Sanchez stayed in the lineup and thrived late in the season while helping the Jets to the AFC championship game for the second straight year. Sanchez said he and his coach have not joked specifically about the benching comments, and he doesn’t expect they will.

“Rex is super honest,” Sanchez said. “I wish he wasn’t that honest at times, especially to say that.”

Ryan made Sanchez one of the Jets’ captains this season and several teammates have praised the quarterback’s leadership skills and desire to win.

In the GQ article, Sanchez also discusses how “embarrassed” he was after last season’s 45-3 loss to New England in Week 13, the challenges of dating and his appreciation for Justin Bieber and the TV show “Glee.” Sanchez, who enjoys Broadway performances, also sees a comparison between being on stage and playing on the football field.

“Their life is so regimented, like mine,” he said. “They have eight shows a week. They have to take care of their bodies, stretch, eat right, take care of their voices. You know, their voice is like my arm.”

Who would win in a throwdown, Rex or Sanchez? Let ‘er rip in the comments below…

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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