Mark Sanchez committed 52 turnovers over the past two seasons. His new quarterbacks coach is trying to stop the bleeding.
The now fifth-year signal-caller's new positional coach, David Lee, has put together a drill specifically focused on not turning over the ball. It's only fitting Lee is referring to it as the "Sanchez drill." (photo: Nick St. Denis)
"Coach Lee threw me under the bus there," Sanchez joked Wednesday. "It's to work on two hands on the football. That's the way he coaches. If he knows there's a weakness in your game or something that you have to get better on, whether it's a specific footwork or anything like that, there's not sweeping anything under the rug.
"So that was part of the emphasis of the drill, to drop back, keep two hands on the ball, and you literally shuffle through about six or seven guys and their just taking hacks at the ball, like "Hack-a-Shaq" out there. It makes it fun and he's creative enough to come up with a name for a drill like that, so it's all good."
Sanchez fumbled a career-high 14 times last season and 10 times the season before, losing 16 of them. In 2009 and 2010 combined, he fumbled 19 times but lost just four of them.
"You never want to put the ball on the turf, that's number one," he said. "We want to have possession of the ball. . . . It's just a major point of emphasis, and if we hang onto it every time, even if that means sacrificing a play downfield to get the ball tucked, secured and get down, fine, because that can ultimately change momentum, change momentum possession."
Easier said than done. And with rookie Geno Smith looming over his shoulder, Sanchez won't have many more chances to make it right. For his sake, hopefully the "Sanchez drill" is the difference.
Follow Nick @NickStDenis