Jets owner: 'We think Sanchez is our guy'

Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez looks to pass against the Patriots at New Meadowlands Stadium in East...

Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez looks to pass against the Patriots at New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., Nov. 13, 2011. (RAY STUBBLEBINE/Reuters)

The Sports Xchange

, Last Updated: 6:03 PM ET

Jets owner Woody Johnson defended quarterback Mark Sanchez but said the team’s commitment to him won’t prevent them from investigating other options.

Johnson, in a meeting with the team’s beat writers, said wide receiver Santonio Holmes’ future with the team was also secure. Holmes signed a five-year, $45 million deal in July as an unrestricted free agent but was criticized and accused of quitting by teammates following a Week 17 loss at Miami that eliminated the Jets from playoff contention.

“They’ve won a lot of games together, and one is good for the other,” Johnson said, per the Newark Star-Ledger. “Santonio makes the quarterback a lot better, and vice versa. So they have a good reason to iron this thing out. I think they can do it.”

Johnson said he has a lot of confidence in Sanchez but stopped short of naming him the Jets’ starting quarterback, saying there is “no such thing as 100 percent” certainty in the NFL.

Sanchez has been questioned by anonymous teammates and running back LaDainian Tomlinson told Showtime’s “Inside the NFL” that he was “pampered” by the coaching staff.

Sanchez was asked to take on more responsibility in the offense by since-replaced coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, but his production — and seven interceptions in the final three games — might indicate he’s not ready to shoulder that extra burden.

He threw 26 touchdowns with 18 interceptions but completed only 56.7 percent of his pass attempts. The Jets lost five of their final eight games and went 2-6 on the road.

“With Mark, you have a 25-year-old quarterback that you can develop,” Johnson said. “You can have a quarterback for 10 years with a guy like this. These guys are not available every day. We have a lot of confidence in Mark, we think he’s our guy. We’re blessed we have a guy that we feel can climb the ladder and get a lot better. He can do everything, he’s got the work ethic, and he’s got all the ingredients in place to be a great quarterback.”

Directly asked if Johnson was saying Sanchez was the starter barring injury, he said: “Barring whatever.”

The rumors linking Peyton Manning to the Jets that began when players under contract with the team said they would love to have Manning didn’t go untouched by the group.

“I’m not going to ever tell you guys what we may or may not do,” he said. “Our job and my job is to, for the fans, take this team to the very top level. I’ve said that from the beginning, and I have a lot of confidence we can do it. So we’re going to look at everything, we’re going to look at every possibility, and that’s what you want us to do.”


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