FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — Hey, Rex, pass the game plan.

New York Jets coach Rex Ryan met with Mark Sanchez on Thursday — a rare one-on-one sit-down — to discuss football and other things with the slumping quarterback.

“This isn’t a huge thing,” Ryan said, joking that they would share his favorite cuisine. “It’s a lunch date, so I can eat Mexican food with him.”

It was actually a bit more than that. Ryan wanted to meet with Sanchez to discuss the Jets’ next opponent, Miami (6-6), since the coach has familiarity with how Dolphins defensive coordinator Mike Nolan calls games from their days together on Baltimore’s staff.

“It was more of a big-picture conversation regarding schemes and what they like to do,” Sanchez said. “It’s always helpful talking football with Rex because you spend so much time in offensive meetings and discussing our approach that it’s good to get a defensive perspective regarding what that side of the ball is trying to accomplish.”

Ryan will meet again with Sanchez next Thursday before the Jets (9-3) take on Pittsburgh to share some pointers about Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau’s scheme.

“I’ve gone against those two guys,” Ryan said. “I know those guys well. I’ve worked under Mike Nolan for a few years, so I know Mike well. I’ve gone against Dick LeBeau forever. I think I can maybe help (Sanchez) these two weeks.”

Ryan normally meets with Sanchez along with offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh every Friday. He’ll still do that, but wanted some one-on-one time with Sanchez, as well.

“If it can help a little bit, then great,” Ryan said. “Plus, we can just talk like he’s my son.”

Added Sanchez: “I think it was awesome that he took the time to do it.”

After an impressive start, in which Sanchez threw no interceptions in his first five games, the quarterback has struggled lately. He has thrown at least one pick in every game since, including three Monday night in a 45-3 loss at New England.

Schottenheimer also liked Ryan’s idea to talk with Sanchez.

“Anything he can give him from that vantage point,” he said, “I’m all for it.”

Ryan stepped in last year to create a color-coded wrist band to help Sanchez cut down on mistakes and manage in-game situations better. Ryan also began attending offensive meetings late in the season to try to help his rookie quarterback.

All that said, Ryan said he’s not concerned Sanchez needs a mental boost.

“No, he’s as messed up as I am,” Ryan said with a laugh. “He has plenty of confidence.”

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.


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