Sanchez under fire

Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez takes aim before throwing against the Dolphins in Miami, Fla., Jan....

Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez takes aim before throwing against the Dolphins in Miami, Fla., Jan. 1, 2012. (JOE SKIPPER/Reuters)

BILL LANKHOF, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:29 PM ET

While the Jets were tying the can to offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, several players were kicking a can of their own.

The one belonging to team-mate Mark Sanchez.

Several key players, according to the New York Daily News, have doubts about Sanchez’ ability to lead the Jets and criticized his commitment.

“We have to bring in another quarterback that will make him work at practice,” said one player. “He’s lazy and content because he knows he’s not going to be benched.”

With the hiring of Tony Sparano there is speculation that Chad Henne could follow him to New York from Miami. Some of the Jets told the newspaper they’d like to see the club make a play to sign Peyton Manning. “Come on. That’s a no-brainer,” a Jets source said. “If you have a chance to get a healthy 36-year-old Peyton Manning and you don’t do it, then you’re stupid.”

Since entering the league in 2009, Sanchez has thrown for the second-most interceptions (51) and committed the second-most turnovers (63) in the NFL.

GRIFF GOING PRO

Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III is headed to the NFL.

Griffin is Baylor’s career passing leader as the Bears tied a school record with 10 wins this season, including a six-game winning streak to end the year. They finished with a record-setting 67-56 victory over Washington in the Alamo Bowl, their first bowl victory since 1992.

Griffin made it official Wednesday that he would skip his junior year. “It was a tough decision, I love the people at this university, love my coach for giving me a chance to be a quarterback,” said Griffin, who set or tied 54 school records.

What set Griffin apart is that he is that in addition to being a smart football player, he also excelled academically. He arrived at Waco as a 17-year-old freshman in January 2008 after graduating from high school a semester early. He completed an undergraduate degree in political science in December 2010 and has been working on a master’s degree in communications.

His coach, Art Briles, was at Griffin’s side Wednesday, both basking in a season that ended with the Bears (No. 13 AP, No. 12 USA Today) ranked in the top 25, the first time since 1986 the school has been ranked in the final poll of the year.

“I talked to coach, neither of us broke down, surprisingly,” Griffin told reporters.

To which, Briles, breaking into the conversation, quipped: “Not on the outside.”

WARD WANTS TO PLAY

Hines Ward will be 36 next year but he wants to continue playing football.

It just might not be with the Pittsburgh Steelers. And, that’s the part that hurts. “It would be weird, not how I want it to happen,” Ward said.

He might not have any choice. The Steelers top three wideouts are Mike Wallace, Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown. That leaves little room, even for a 1,000-reception receiver willing to give up money on his contract to stay.

“I want to play here. I don’t want to put on another uniform, but, at the end of the day, it’s not my choice. There’s nothing I can do about it,” Ward told the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.

His production fell dramatically this year after head coach Mike Tomlin took away his starting role. He averaged only 8.6 yards-per-catch and didn’t top 400 yards receiving, his worst yardage total since he was a rookie in 1998.

“My thing is, I want to be a Steeler, I’m here, I’m willing to restructure, do whatever. I couldn’t even fathom myself (in another uniform), but I still want to play football.”

FLACCO NEEDS A HUG

Joe Flacco is feeling unappreciated. Again.

He’s 44-20 as a starter in the regular season with back-to-back 12-win seasons.

But he just doesn’t think the limelight shines brightly enough on himself. Earlier in the year he complained that the Ravens are “disrespected” by the national media in the U.S.

He was also ripping on Tim Tebow earlier this year because Sportscenter had him on all the highlights.

Truth is, while Tebow has received his share of accolades, the national spotlight has also resulted in a mountain of criticism — not just about his play but about his personal life and beliefs.

Celebrity has a price, one which Flacco might want to consider before complaining too much. Meantime, he’s feeling hard done by as the Ravens prepare to play Houston. “I’m sure if we win I’ll have nothing to do with why we won, according to you guys,” Flacco said to the media Wednesday.

Poor guy. Where’s Ann Landers when you need her?


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