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Snachez manages hype with humility

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Mark Sanchez manages hype with humility, Jets backup Mark Brunell advises quarterback to stay level

BY Manish Mehta


Thursday, September 30th 2010, 4:00 AM

Simmons/NewsMark Sanchez has yet to throw an interception in 2010 after throwing 20 last season. Related NewsEdwards plays role of hero for Jets in MiamiSanchez & Keller: A match made in endzoneThree-headed monster haunts Jets' Mr. TJets to battle Fish minus RevisBrady: Pats offense 'sucked'Myers: Sanchez erases question MarkIt was a trick question.

When Mark Sanchez walked up to Dustin Keller after the tight end's monster game in Miami Sunday night, he wanted to teach his teammate a lesson.

"Hey, did you see your picture in the (paper)?" Sanchez asked.

"Which one?" Keller said.

"The answer is 'No!'" Sanchez shot back. "You can't read it, man. It's poison. Don't look."

On a team filled with chest-thumping, ear-splitting bravado, Sanchez has rerouted his course: He's not patting himself on the back after two consecutive stellar weeks.

"My line to everyone in the building is, 'Every trash can gets a steak,'" Sanchez said Wednesday. "I don't buy into it. I don't want to take the cheese."

The Jets' second-year quarterback has learned to manage the hype entering this Sunday's game at Buffalo. Humility, it turns out, has its advantages.

"You got to be smart," Sanchez said. "Take the praise with the criticism. Stay level-headed. It's tough...especially in a market like this."

Sanchez, who hasn't committed a turnover this season, is fully aware that fortunes can turn in a hurry. Exhibit A: His five-interception disaster against Buffalo a year ago that left him dazed and confused on the sidelines.

"It was like your dog died or something," Sanchez said. "It was the worst. Those games are a part of being a rookie and making really bad decisions. That's what can happen. That still can happen. (If) you start making bad decisions, you can easily throw five picks in this league against anyone."

Mark Brunell, signed to mentor Sanchez as much as back him up, has imparted more wisdom during the second-year quarterback's hot streak that has included six touchdown passes.

"He's got a little bit of momentum," Brunell told the Daily News. "You don't want to not think about the last couple weeks. You want to build on it to get more confidence. He's proven he can play at a very high level. Finding the ability to stay at that level is tough for a young guy. But he's got two in a row."

Said Rex Ryan: "All of us here are expecting plays now - not a mistake. Last year, when we played Buffalo, after two or three of those (interceptions), it's like, 'Oh no.'"

Sanchez's success that past couple of weeks came after logging extra time with some of his weapons.

Consider Sanchez's 12-yard touchdown pass to Keller Sunday when he squeezed the ball between Miami linebacker Bobby Carpenter and safety Yeremiah Bell. Carpenter showed blitz at the line of scrimmage before dropping into inside zone coverage. Bell had Keller bracketed on the outside. But Sanchez fit it in perfectly without blinking. The quarterback revealed why he was so confident on that play. It turns out Sanchez and Keller practiced that exact play on a side practice field earlier in the week. Brunell and Kellen Clemens played the roles of Carpenter and Bell as Sanchez ran through the different looks.

"We ran it four or five times," Sanchez said. "Then, when we get in the game, it was like nothing. Everybody was saying, 'Wow, that was a great pass! How did you guys do it?' Well, we did it on Wednesday or Thursday. It wasn't just Sunday. That stuff just doesn't happen."

Sanchez's production hasn't surprised Ryan, who was touting his quarterback all offseason. "This is who he is," the coach said. "He's having the kind of year we expect."

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/fo...#ixzz11Cqj4nEZ

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