Mark Sanchez, a close friend of the NFL Network, took a few minutes during his visit Wednesday to answer some pertinent offseason questions about the Jets, his personal life, and life with Rex Ryan.
Let’s start with football. Is it possible that free agents Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards will both be back?
MS: I hope so. I’m sure it’s possible. I don’t know if both guys will be up for it, but it’s their prerogative. It’s the toughest part of this league other than getting hit and reading defenses, is trying to figure out who you’ll have on your team each year. It’s the way it goes. I would love to have both of them back, they were a joy for me to play with. They taught me so much about playing quarterback and how much easier it is when you have two superstars like that.
Have you told them that?
MS: Absolutely. They know. We want the same team back. We’re right there.
Right there … is this a Super Bowl team?
MS: Absolutely. I think last year’s team was too, we just came out flat in the AFC Championship Game, which was really too bad. We definitely have what it takes, I know we do. Hopefully we can win some more regular season games, get a home playoff game, and take it from there.
What did you learn from the “Hard Knocks” experience?
MS: Not a lot I didn’t already know from a team standpoint, from a personnel standpoint. There were some really cool stories that fans got to see, the kind of stories that teammates know about each other. For the fans to be able to get an inside look at that, I think they enjoyed that. It became a polarizing show, either you love the team or you hate the team, and that’s just the way it is. I think that exacerbated that polarizing aspect of the team. It was fine with me, I just tried to stay in the back and keep a low profile. There are plenty of bright lights in New York, so it’s not like I needed any more camera time. I’m not being pompous or anything, it’s just that less was more when it came to “Hard Knocks.”
What’s your next reality show then?
MS: Oh, I’m out. I’m good. I like just playing.
Tell us the experience of having parts of your personal life in the tabloids …
MS: It’s something you live with and learn from. It just reminds you that you have to be around the right kind of people and understand that just like I have a job playing in the NFL there are people who write those stories who need to fabricate and exaggerate stories to sell tabloids to drive traffic to their websites. It all comes with being a professional football player and being a quarterback in New York. As much as I love playing on Sundays, you to accept the negatives aspects of your profession as well, and that’s one of them. It’s just a good reminder of keeping the right people around you and understanding you can’t make everyone happy.
When I type your name into a search engine I see a lot of Hayden Panettiere … you have a story for us?
MS: Not really. Nothing there. I know her, but I’m definitely not dating her.
So … has Rex Ryan predicted a Super Bowl win this week?
MS: This week? Probably. What is it, Wednesday? Probably. Hopefully by now. If not, something is probably wrong.
What is your favorite Rex-ism?
MS: Hmmm… I think the one that makes me feel the best is, “Nice job, kid.” That usually means I threw a touchdown or we just scored or something good happened. But anything from “Hard Knocks” is good, from “eating snacks” to the ones where you would need a bunch of characters to fill in for the letters. Those are my favorites.
Tell us one person you would like to have dinner with?
MS: Rex Ryan. That would mean the lockout is over.
If your life is ever made into a movie, what actor plays Mark Sanchez?
MS: Adrian Grenier. I love Entourage. I haven’t been following it as close, I was a huge fan in college and my rookie year but not as much this past season. I need to get caught up.
For more on what Sanchez has been up to this offseason, visit his official Facebook page.