NEW YORK (WFAN) — The Jets may seem like Tim Tebow’s show to the casual fan. After all, the backup quarterback has been all over the back pages since his acquisition from Denver.
Sure, starter Mark Sanchez was in the news quite a bit. But between The Rift and his third-year regression, you couldn’t exactly call it good press.
After an impressive showing at Jets OTAs, coach Rex Ryan is ready to shift the focus — and the good vibes — back toward Sanchez.
“Sanchez looks great,” Ryan told WFAN’s Boomer & Carton on Monday. “This is the best he’s looked.”
LISTEN: Ryan with Boomer & Carton
Despite all the Tebow talk, Ryan reiterated there’s “no quarterback controversy here.”
“Mark is our quarterback, he’s our starting quarterback,” he said. “Obviously, Tebow can run the Wildcat and things and be the primary backup quarterback, but Mark is our starting quarterback. And he looks tremendous back there.”
Much was made this offseason about Sanchez’s once-rocky relationship with wide receiver Santonio Holmes and its role in New York’s disappointing 8-8 finish in 2011. Ryan insisted he never “lost the team,” though he admitted to trying more of a hands-off approach last season, which may have had a hand in the locker room unrest.
Ryan said when it comes down to it, sitting “back in the head-coaching chair” just doesn’t work for him.
“I don’t think I ever lost the team,” Ryan said. “I never had a great, you know, like the pulse of it, knowing what was going on in the meeting rooms, different things like that (which) contributed to some of those issues. But I never lost the team.
“There isn’t one player on this team that’s not my guy. They’re all my guys. They know what I want. I think that’s why, when you look at it, so much has been placed on last year and things. And man, let me tell you, I definitely learned from it. But for me, I’m gonna be myself, I’m gonna be in all those meetings, be around the guys as much as I possibly can. And that’s what I’m doing.”
Ryan, the undisputed star of HBO’s “Hard Knocks” in 2010 and one-time “CSI: NY” actor, will make his big-screen debut when “That’s My Boy” opens in theaters Friday. The Jets coach had to stretch his thespian chops as a die-hard New England Patriots fan in the Adam Sandler flick.
His character, Boston-area lawyer Jim Nance, even boasts a Bill Belichick bobblehead on his desk.
“I think I took a driver to it. No, I’m just kidding,” Ryan told Boomer & Carton. “You know what, it really was a fun experience, and obviously — you know, I don’t take myself too seriously when it comes to all that other kind of stuff.
“It was just a great time.”
Do you think this is Sanchez’s year? Jets fans, sound off in the comments below!