Jets QB Sanchez has an ally in Eli

Mark Sanchez speaks to the media following rookie minicap at the Jets practice facility. (Bill Kostroun / Associated Press)

Mark Sanchez speaks to the media following rookie minicap at the Jets practice facility. (Bill Kostroun / Associated Press)

Jets QB Mark Sanchez is walking into a pressure cooker, and nobody knows that more than Giants QB Eli Manning.

The Giants sent QB Philip Rivers and picks to the Chargers — which became LB Shawne Merriman and K Nate Kaeding — to acquire Manning. The move paid off when Manning was selected as the MVP of Super Bowl XLII.

Jets fans are looking for a similar return. That’s the pressure of playing in New York. Eli told the New York Post that Jets fans are going to have awfully high expectations of Sanchez coming into the season.

    “In New York, it just goes game-by-game of how he’s doing,” Manning said. “That’s just kind of the way it works in New York. There’s not a whole lot of leeway with people saying, ‘He’s got it or he doesn’t have it.’ People are going to make quick decisions about you whether good or bad, and you can’t let it affect you, good or bad.”

The only way to get over the hump, Manning says, is to win a Super Bowl.

    “It definitely was a great experience, and you love having one under your belt,” he said. “You feel not so much that you have to keep proving yourself every game. You get some of the doubters out of there. But it doesn’t end any hunger from my aspect. If anything it makes you hungrier to get back to a championship.”

Is that going to happen in Sanchez’s first year? It could, but Sanchez might not be the guy under center. At least not to start. The Jets could be following the Giants’ model here, as Manning learned under Kurt Warner before becoming the starter.

Eli told the Post that he plans to reach out to Sanchez at some point and that he and former Jets QB Chad Pennington used to hang out and send text messages. Seems kind of odd to have competing quarterbacks being so chummy, but maybe that’s a necessary evil when it comes to playing in New York.

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