NEW YORK (WFAN) – The Jets had to relocate their training camp from Cortland to Florham Park, N.J., last year because of the NFL lockout.
And while quarterback Mark Sanchez doesn’t want to say it hurt the team last season (8-8), a return to Central New York is certainly welcome.
“I don’t know if it changed too much. We weren’t as good as we wanted to be last year, plain and simple, but Cortland never hurts,” Sanchez said. “I think it can only help us, especially with the off-the-field stuff, like camaraderie, keeping team morale high and getting guys excited.
“When you live with guys for two or three weeks, you know everything about them. That’s the best way to go into a season, really understanding each other, caring about each other and when you really care about something, you’ll protect it. That’s where we want to be on this team. We want to protect this team.”
More than 41,000 fans descended on the college town for New York’s three-week camp in 2010, according to SUNY Cortland. More — many more — are expected this year with backup quarterback sensation Tim Tebow in tow.
So sure, there’s more of a buzz going into this year’s camp. Players are due to report Thursday and will begin practicing Friday. With so many national media outlets expected to follow Tebow, by the time camp wraps no sports fan in the nation will be able to say, “Cortland? Where’s that?”
“It sounds pretty dismal, but it’s actually a good time, it really is,” said Sanchez. “You figure out stuff to do. You figure it in those quick short breaks from meetings when there’s time to goof around and have fun. Then you better be ready to stop back and get your focus for Coach Sparano.”
Speaking of Tony Sparano, expect the Jets to return to a ground-and-pound style under their new offensive coordinator.
“I think when you look at the end of the whole shooting match, the teams that are playing usually in late January and into February are teams that, in one way or another, have demonstrated that they can run the ball,” Sparano told the New York Daily News. “Those core beliefs are in me.”
Coach Rex Ryan is eager to return to his brand of physical play after letting Sanchez pass, pass, pass early last season.
“We have a style of football that’s New York Jet football,” he told the paper. “You go back and all you ever hear me talk about is New York Jet football. I don’t know if we actually played that way as much as I wanted to last year.”
Think Sanchez’s showing in camp will quiet the Tebow talk? Be heard in the comments below…