The Jets' 2012 season may still splinter apart thanks to a quarterback controversy and a No. 1 wide receiver long on diva tendencies and short on production. But for now, three months before the opening kickoff against the Buffalo Bills, the players who comprise the potentially divisive factions are getting along famously.
Tim Tebow and Santonio Holmes each announced this week they will participate in Mark Sanchez' "Jets West" week-long passing camp and workout program in his native California. Tebow told the New York Daily News he would attend "Jets West" while Holmes announced his commitment via Twitter. The event will take place sometime between the end of the Jets' three-day minicamp June 14 and the start of training camp in upstate Cortland July 26.
While this will mark the third straight year Sanchez has hosted "Jets West," his ability to get Tebow and Holmes to join is another indication of the increased leadership role he has taken on this offseason. Tebow, of course, is the first legitimate competition Sanchez has had for his starting job in four years while Holmes sniped at Sanchez in public and private throughout last season.
It certainly won't hurt the perception of Sanchez, inside and outside the Jets' headquarters, that he invited Tebow to his offseason workout program a couple months after Holmes hosted just about every major offensive player except Tebow for workouts in Orlando.
With Holmes in the fold, at least a dozen offensive players are committed to "Jets West." The New York Daily News reported quarterback Greg McElroy, running backs Shonn Greene, John Conner and Joe McKnight, wide receivers Jeremy Kerley, Scotty McKnight and Patrick Turner and tight ends Dustin Keller, Josh Baker and Jeff Cumberland will all be at the unofficial camp. Second-year running back Bilal Powell and rookie wide receiver Stephen Hill may also participate.
"It's just so important to spend time together as much as possible," McElroy told the Daily News. "It's a good opportunity for us to get out of our element and do something social as a group with the benefit of working and great weather. It's really a good time for us. It's a lot of football and a lot of fun."
Sanchez has already impressed Jets coaches this spring with his focus and the aggressive manner in which he is picking up the system being installed by new offensive coordinator Tony Sparano.
"I would say he's probably worked and put in the most amount of work, which he should," Sparano told reporters last week. "It's a credit to Mark that he has been able to put that kind of time in. It's really important to him. He's done a tremendous job."
"You talk about leadership and Sanchez, I think the best thing (about) how Sanchez is leading is in the classroom," head coach Rex Ryan told reporters. "Tony will fire out questions and Sanchez has all the answers. I think that speaks volumes to his teammates. I see that over and over and over again."