NEW YORK (WFAN) — New Jets general manager John Idzik is “comfortable” with Mark Sanchez on the 2013 roster, saying there will be competition if the embattled quarterback remains in New York.
“Yeah, I’m comfortable with Mark being a Jet,” Idzik told WFAN’s Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton on Monday. “I told him as well, we’re going to add competition. … It’s going to help make Mark and everybody else better.”
When asked specifically about Sanchez’s future, Idzik insisted it was “way premature” to talk about what changes might be in store for his troubled team.
Idzik said he’s talked with Sanchez, who was benched late last season in favor of third-stringer Greg McElroy. The 26-year-old had a brutal 2012 campaign, recording 18 interceptions and eight lost fumbles in 15 games.
“I think he’s champing at the bit,” Idzik said. “And he wants to get going with his new coordinator (Marty Mornhinweg). He’s all about competing. I got a really good feeling from Mark.”
Idzik said the mantra will be “Look to improve every day.” And that’s not just for New York’s former first-round pick.
The new GM wants to see progress across the board from a team that finished 6-10 last season, the Jets’ worst mark in four years under head coach Rex Ryan.
“That’s just going to be a constant theme with us,” he said. “It’s certainly going to apply at the quarterback position. But Mark is a New York Jet. We’re glad to have him. I think he’s a competitor.”
The Jets are expected to release backup quarterback Tim Tebow if they can’t find an offseason trading partner. There’s been much made of the team’s messy salary cap situation, which would be a whole lot worse if Sanchez isn’t retained.
Money matters, which is why there’s been so much talk about the futures of Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie, Bart Scott and Calvin Pace.
“I’d ask everyone just to bear with us,” Idzik said. “We’re going to make thorough, well-researched decisions.”
On Darrelle Revis trade speculation: “Yeah, I was surprised … because we really hadn’t had any in-depth discussions — still haven’t. We’re still in the midst of evaluating our roster and assembling a coaching staff and doing some of the initial moves. So I was taken aback by that. But I called Darrelle just to make sure he knew exactly what was going on from our end, and it was good to talk to him. I thought it was well-received.”
On salary cap: “It’s definitely a huge item right at the forefront, but it’s nothing that we can’t manage.”
Build through draft or via trades/free agency? “I’d say build any way you feel like you can get better. That said, the draft will always be important to us.”
On his perceived weakness: “I beg to differ a little bit. … Evaluating players has been at my core since I’ve been in the league. So I don’t have any reservations that way.”
On Rex Ryan: “He’s accomplished, he’s enthusiastic, he’s aggressive, he’s engaging. I mean, you guys have experienced it over the years. I’m really excited to work with Rex Ryan and his staff.”
Would he hire Ryan? “I think you’ve gotta — yeah, absolutely you’d want a guy like Rex.”
His message to Jets fans: “We’re going to be an aggressive, energetic, constantly improving, competitive team. We’re just going to take it a step at a time, and the byproduct of that is going to be sustainable success over a long period of time.”
We’ll take a wild guess here: you’re not as comfortable with Sanchez. Jets fans, be heard in the comments…