Opponent Opinions: QB Mark Sanchez

Mark Sanchez has been in the spotlight ever since the Jets traded up in the first round of the 2009 draft to take him with the fifth overall pick. Sanchez has been in the news lately for his five-interception day against Buffalo two weeks ago and for eating a hot dog on the sidelines at Oakland last Sunday. He discussed those topics and more in a conference call with South Florida reporters.

Here is a transcript of Sanchez's conference call, as provided by the Dolphins:

On if he sees anything different from the Dolphins since the last time the teams played: "A lot of the same great players, and unfortunately they lost a good player in their secondary in Will Allen. They're a tough team that puts a lot of pressure on the quarterback with their edge rushers in [Joey] Porter and [Jason] Taylor, and then another good player in the middle with [Channing] Crowder. It's a lot of the same stuff. Tough players, very athletic secondary, and two rookie corners, but they're more than capable of playing really well. We just need to be smart, and take care of the ball, and play well."

On how much the wind, rain, and other weather in the Meadowlands affects the quarterback position: "It's important to get a good grip on the ball and practice in those elements, but it's one of those things where it's football, you just have to play. Trust your instincts, body guys up in the rain, you have to make sure they're not jumping and tipping balls up in the air and it slips through their hands, and you just have to be even more accurate and more conscious about the football and ball security. We will for sure go through that playing here in the Meadowlands, and we just need to be ready to play in it."

On what it's like to be a first-round pick and how he handles it: "It's important to know that you're always in the spotlight, you have to be an NFL quarterback and like you said, being in New York City everybody knows what you do. You just want to make sure that what you're doing is the right thing, you're setting the right example, and you're putting the team first, and protecting this team with my actions and the things I say and the things I do outside of this facility. There's constant reminders all the time on why you need to walk the straight and narrow and be smart, and I just have to put the team first, and if there's ever any doubt, just walk away, go home and just be smart."

On his impressions of Sean Smith and Vontae Davis: "Both of them are very good players, and sad to see somebody get hurt on a team. You never want to see that whether they're a division opponent or anything, you just never want to see guys go down. I'm sure he'll recover and do just fine, but he was a great player and another great player stepping in, in Vontae, and oh my god, I'm blanking on the other guy's name -[Sean Smith]- Smith, yeah, from Utah, yeah. He was awesome, I thought Smith was a great player. Long arms, rangy, can run, uncharacteristically tall for a cornerback, big guy, can jump, great ball skills. So you have to be accurate when you're throwing the ball against a guy like that, he can really make plays and tip the ball up and make a play on a jump ball. And then Vontae is stockier, strong, can jam guys, just a great player as well, great change of direction. Both of them are going to be great players in this league I believe, and we just need to be smart where we throw."

On how the chemistry between himself and Braylon Edwards has changed in the past two weeks: "One thing is Jerricho Cotchery went down, that made things tough on us. We were thankful that [David] Clowney stepped up and did such a great job, but it forced me to get real comfortable with Braylon very quickly. We have a great chemistry now, and it looks like Jerricho is probably looking like he's coming back this week, that could be huge for us. And that only helps Braylon and Dustin [Keller], and all of those guys that are trying to get the ball. Just spreads things out for us, and gives the quarterback a great progression. Braylon and I have only gotten better as a team, and he had a heck of a coming out party in New York and Miami. So he will have a similar performance, hopefully, I'm sure, and I know he's working hard, so it will be great for us."

On how surprised he is that Dolphins wide receiver -- and former USC teammate -- Patrick Turner has been inactive every week thus far: "There's a lot of things that go into that. I don't know his exact situation down there. I know [Greg] Camarillo's playing pretty well, and Ted Ginn's doing a good job, so it's one of those things where he's a tough kid, and he'll figure things out. They could use another weapon here soon, if not this season, hopefully in the next couple seasons or something, he'll be just fine."

On if he felt his role in the offense needed to be dialed back a little bit after the Buffalo game: "I never want to feel like that, and my confidence didn't waiver at all. A real quarterback and a real competitor isn't scared of throwing another pick, it's not why I play, it's not how I play, I'm not afraid to throw the ball. A lot of it was that the running game was doing so well and after a tough game like that, you want to get completions and be smart and not necessarily dial things back, but just emphasize getting completions and taking care of the football. That's just kind of the way things worked out last week. 9-15, whatever we were, one hundred and something yards and a touchdown, and then to run for 300 yards and win, I'll take that every week."

On if he needed a game like the one against the Raiders to boost his confidence after the poor performance against the Bills: "I don't know. It's one of those things where that's the way things worked out, but to me, like I talked about in competitors, when someone has to learn, and throw it all over the field and learn, I'd do it all over again. I want to play, I want to throw it 50 times, that's what I'm ready to do. That's just kind of how competitive I am. One of the first things that the coaches and I talked about, luckily I only threw five picks, ‘we don't want you trying to throw six.' That's just the way that I play this game, you'll have another outing like that. So that's just the way things worked out. It was great to get that kind of game."

On what it's like as a quarterback to watch his running game rush for over 300 yards the past two weeks: "Pretty awesome. A lot of credit obviously to the offensive line making big holes for those guys to run through and the running backs to get through those. Our perimeter blocking's great, Braylon, Clowney, Wallace Wright, all those guys up on the second level, for them to block like that, that's when you turn and eight yard gain into a 30 yard touchdown. That's huge to do that, it's great for everybody."

On if he was surprised with the reaction to the hot dog situation last week and at what point he realized it was going to be an issue: "All I'll say about that is I didn't want it to distract from anything we were doing as a team. I didn't want to be disrespectful to the league or to the Oakland Raiders in any way. It's just a matter of, great example of how everybody's watching what you do and say wherever you are. It's important to learn from that, and I've told everyone here, and I've expressed my apologies, and it won't happen again."

On if he was having fun in the first game against the Dolphins: "Absolutely, every game, except for maybe the Buffalo game kind of didn't turn out the way I'd like. But that's what this is about, smiling and having fun, that's when I'm at my best. Seeing guys make great plays like Braylon did, and watching Leon [Washington] and TJ [Thomas Jones] run all over the place and have a great day on the offensive side of the ball. It gets me fired up and excited, running around and jumping, and I can't help myself. It's exactly what I've always wanted to do, to play at this level. And when its going well, you tend to not cherish it and have a good time with it, so that's what I try and do."

On what he and Chad Henne said to each other after the game: "Chad is someone who I met a couple years ago at the Elite 11 camp with the people from Nike and EA Sports and stuff. So, we got a chance to hang out a couple summers ago, so I knew him going into the game, but I knew he was a great player, big time competitor. I just told him that throw at the end of the game versus an all-out blitz to hit that out route - and falling off your back foot - that was a big time play and a big time conversion. And then after that, the comeback throw that he hit near the goal line was a backbreaker to our defense, and it was tough. He hung in there really well, took a couple shots and kept getting up, and played well. So I knew he was going to be a great player, and unfortunately he had to make a great play on a day we had to play them."

On if there is a temptation to think you are already prepared for a team that you only played three weeks ago: "I guess that's what you would think, but I get advice every week from guys on this team just talking to veterans and making sure I'm doing the right thing, if there's anything they think I could get better at, and stuff like that. And the biggest thing they impressed upon me this week was never think that just because you played these guys in such a short period of time, that you got them down. You can never watch enough film, you can never study enough. It's one of those weeks where we can't hold back on our preparation. We really need to study and make a lot of corrections from that first game and understand that some things might be similar, but there might be a whole new attack, there could be a whole new look or something we haven't seen, and we need to just be ready to make adjustments and play well. You have to win the game each day, and that's what we wanted to do today, we want to win the game on Wednesday with our preparation and practice, and have to do it all over tomorrow. And then we'll get it going into Sunday."

On if he is ‘chomping at the bit' to play: "Sure, these are important games, these division games, they kind of take on a life of their own. They're exciting and you really want to win these games, especially going into a bye week. At the same time, you don't want to put too much pressure on yourself that you're not seeing clearly or feeling good about everything. Sure we're excited to play, we wanted to win that game, especially on a Monday night game, but that's over and done with, and all we can do is improve, and get ready to play."

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