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Sanchez (left) isn't as bulky as Tebow (right) but adding 12lbs of muscle in the offseason can do wonders for the 4th year quarterback
There is no denying that in sports, competition is always better. You cannot get too comfortable or content. You need to be on your game, day in and day out. If you ask many Jet fans, and some "unnamed sources," they will tell you Mark Sanchez got a little too comfortable with the lack of competition the past few seasons. Let's be honest—Mark Brunell, Kevin O'Connell and Kellen Clemens were never going to supplant Sanchez as starting quarterback, no matter how bad he played.
In comes Tim Tebow, as polarizing a figure in sports today, and out goes Sanchez's ability to lay back and go through the motions. He needs to improve, and it needs to happen fast. He knows this. Jet fans know this. Tim Tebow knows this and most importantly—the Jets coaches know this.
Sanchez could've done a few things. He could have felt sorry for himself and complained about the trade, or he could use it as motivation and step his game up. So far in mini-camp and training camp, all signs point to the latter.
Mark entered camp 12 pounds heavier. After playing last season at a smaller 218 pounds, he is now 230 pounds and feels and looks as good as ever. Per the NY Post:
“I was not feeling my strongest, not feeling my best,” Sanchez said. “I felt like I couldn’t get the power into my throws. I couldn’t use my legs.”
Thus far in camp, Mark has grabbed the bull by the horns and is establishing himself as the leader of this team. He is energized, excited and it's showing in his game. He is running down the field to congratulate his receivers after a nice catch. He is stepping up to the media, calling players out when need be. He has more zip on his ball, and he certainly looks the part. So far so good.
Now, only time will tell if all this makes a difference in his play, but the fact that Sanchez has used the Tebow acquisition as motivation to improve himself almost makes the deal worth it. One thing is for sure—if he slips up and continues to struggle, things won't be as peachy as they are now. Tim Tebow will play, and none of this will matter.