Sanchez Asked To Make Plays, Not Just Play

Behind a second straight sparkling performance by Mark Sanchez, the Jets sit atop the AFC East with a 2-1 mark following a win at Miami on Sunday night.

Florham Park, NJ – Last week against New England, Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez threw the first three-touchdown performance of his NFL career and the second-year gun slinger followed it up with another trio of scoring passes on Sunday night in Miami. The development of Sanchez, who was brutally booed and questioned by fans following a week one loss to Baltimore, appears to be hitting stride.

Head coach Rex Ryan attributed the success to Sanchez's work ethic, resulting in him being on point with his receivers. In particular, Ryan said on Monday in his press conference that the communication with wide receiver Braylon Edwards is noticeably better than last season. Edwards, who was acquired via a trade midway through last year, benefitted from a year in the offense and being in training camp with the team this past summer.

"We're all on the same page," Ryan said of Sanchez and his receivers.

The development of Sanchez from year one as a frightened rookie into a poised veteran is clear to his head coach.

"I think without question he's got a great grasp of our offense, his offense," Ryan said. "He's got much more confidence in himself and his receivers."

Last year, behind a run-heavy offense, the Jets asked Sanchez to play mistake free football as the team pushed through the end of the regular season and into the playoffs en route to the AFC Championship Game. Fast forward to Sanchez's second season and the Jets are suddenly a team that is asking their quarterback to make plays.

"This year, you're keeping the defenses guessing," said tight end Dustin Keller.

The fact that the New York offense is capable of big plays is something that excites Keller, who doesn't expect to see the vaunted Jets defense consistently being called on to carry the offense any longer.

"Offensively, we don't want to be known as a team that just gets a couple field goals," Keller said.

Sanchez finished the Sunday night game against Miami an impressive 15-28 for 256 yards with three touchdowns.

Kristian R. Dyer can be reached at and followed at

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