NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Tim Tebow has been the talk of Jets Training Camp thus far in 2012 — for better or worse — but starting quarterback Mark Sanchez is continuing to get rave reviews from players and coaches alike.
Not only has he been praised for his play on the field, but the fourth-year player has been heralded for his renewed sense of maturity and leadership.
After publicly criticizing his team for engaging in scuffles on the field, the former first-round pick scolded linebacker Aaron Maybin for celebrating on Wednesday, the New York Daily News reported.
Following the end of the 2011 campaign — in which there was allegedly finger-pointing among teammates and backstabbing in the locker room — it seems that Sanchez has gotten the attention of the players, and is continuing to establish himself as “the guy.”
“He’s more of a leader than he ever was before,” tight end Dustin Keller told the New York Daily News. “When he’s talking, everybody’s listening.”
Head coach Rex Ryan agreed that he’s seeing a new side of Sanchez, one that wasn’t apparent in his first three seasons in the league.
“I just see the way he’s interacting with all the groups — the offensive line, the receivers, the backs … even the defense,” Ryan said. “I just see that side of Mark that maybe I never saw before.”
Despite all of the publicity surrounding Tebow, Jets brass has repeatedly acknowledged that Sanchez is the undisputed starter.
Playing all 16 games last season, the 25-year-old California native threw 26 touchdowns to 18 interceptions, finishing with a 78.2 rating.
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