Mark Sanchez stirs things up at Jets camp

The Jets are making headlines again. Mark Sanchez called the Jets “his” team and Tim Tebow...

The Jets are making headlines again. Mark Sanchez called the Jets “his” team and Tim Tebow (right) vouched for Jeff Demps. (AFP)

RYAN WOLSTAT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:57 PM ET

Cue the circus, Mark Sanchez has said something interesting at Jets camp.

While nobody really thinks Sanchez is in danger of losing his job to Tim Tebow, he has been bombarded with questions nonetheless and finally said some notable things.

Namely that he considered the Jets his team and intended to be a top-10 quarterback this season.

Sanchez needs to improve. He has long been seen as the weak link on a team that otherwise has been sized up as a Super Bowl contender.

It will happen, he says.

“As soon as you step on the field, you have to be the baddest guy out there — the toughest, the best, the most accurate, and you have to want to win,” said Sanchez, adding he has cut down on his turnovers.

The quarterback has been more vocal, more assertive and has broken character as a more focussed and fiery QB.

“It’s not necessarily in my genetic makeup to start yelling at guys, but there’s a time and a place to give somebody a hug ... and there are times when you have to get on guys.”

Teammates have been impressed by this new version of Sanchez, but what he does on the field will be far more important.

Sanchez needs to prove that he can direct New York’s offence successfully and put pressure on opponents. And he must do it without throwing the ball to the other team, fumbling, or simply not moving the chains.

Sanchez has had some playoff success, so the potential is clearly there.

Meanwhile, Brandon Jacobs couldn’t help but weigh in on the Jets and Sanchez.

Though no longer a member of the New York Giants, Jacobs still took a dig at his old rivals.

Jacobs told CBSsports.com: “They can’t ever one-up the Giants — not in my eyesight, not in anyone else’s eyesight. They can never do that. They keep trying, but they’re doing it the wrong way.”

Jacobs made it clear the only shot the Jets have at supplanting the Giants in New York is by winning a Super Bowl.

Jacobs said he thought Sanchez would beat out Tebow for the quarterback job and said: “He’s got to be the guy.”

Last year Jacobs took some shots at Rex Ryan. Though he claims to hate all the attention the Jets get, like just about everybody else, he can’t stop talking about them.

TEBOW VOUCHES FOR DEMPS

Tebow isn’t best suited to quarterback.

Jeff Demps isn’t best suited to football.

But Tebow might be in an offence with Demps down the line again if he has his way nonetheless.

The Jets are making a push to sign Demps, who won a silver medal with the U.S. relay team in London.

Previously, he attended Florida and played running back and returned kicks.

“Yeah, they asked me about him,” Tebow, who played at Florida with Demps for two years, said.

“Jeff is a great guy and a great player and he is someone that I was proud to play with in college. He did a great job for us in college ... would we love to have him? Absolutely. I would as a teammate just because I know how hard he works and what he could bring to the table.”

Demps can sign wherever he wants, but thanks to Tebow, even if he’s not the starter, the Jets might have a head start on the competition.

ELWAY IMPRESSED

Denver exec John Elway likes what he sees so far from Peyton Manning.

“I went back and looked at film from 2010 and 2009 to get a comparison of Peyton, and he looks to me to be the same guy throwing now that he was then,” Elway told USA Today.

“The ball is coming out quicker all the time the more and more time he gets with the offence and getting to know all his receivers and tight ends.”

Though Manning doesn’t think his arm is as strong as it was 10-15 years ago, Elway thinks it is good enough to put Denver in the hunt.

“Looking at the end run, winning the Super Bowl is our goal. Our owner, Pat Bowlen, wants to be competitive and win Super Bowls,” Elway said.

“We’re a lot closer now than we were. I feel like with Peyton, as well as the supporting cast here, we can go out and compete for one, and that’s all you can hope for.”

QUICK HITS

Houston has signed left tackle Duane Brown to a six-year, $53.4-million U.S. extension. Brown made second team all-pro last season ... Backup quarterback contenders Tyler Thigpen and Vince Young will get equal reps against Washington this week after Young saw more action last time out for Buffalo ... Denver defensive end Jason Hunter will miss four months after surgery for a torn triceps ... Denver linebacker D.J. Williams was not at practice on Thursday morning, a day after he was convicted of driving while ability-impaired and driving without his headlights. He is already suspended for six games and could be forced out of more. Williams has led the Broncos in tackles five times ... Lions running back Jahvid Best is expected to start the season on the physically unable to perform list. Best has not played since October do to concussions ... Korey Bosworth has signed with Oakland. Why does anybody care you ask? Bosworth is Brian Bosworth’s nephew. Still don’t care? Cool ... Philadelphia cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha returned to practice on Thursday, concussion-free as promised ... Pittsburgh fine-accumulator James Harrison had minor surgery on his left knee and is questionable for the regular-season opener ... Another line of week candidate: Texans coach Gary Kubiak after Matt Schaub missed him with a Gatorade dump: “Schaub had another incompletion this morning.”

IS URLACHER HIDING SOMETHING?

Is Brian Urlacher’s knee more seriously damaged than he has let on?

According to CSNChicago.com, Urlacher’s surgery on Tuesday was either the second or third knee surgery he has had this year.

According to two league sources, Urlacher had the first surgery not long after getting injured on Jan. 1.

One of the sources said Urlacher had surgery in the spring as well. Neither had been reported and Urlacher had been sitting out throughout August before opting for Tuesday’s procedure.

The long-time Bears standout continues to maintain he will be able to play when the regular season starts on Sep. 9 against Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts, but, approaching 35, Urlacher might not be as invincible as he once was.

That said, none of the surgeries were perceived to be major ones and an orthopedic surgeon told USA Today before the news of the alleged surgeries came out that Tuesday’s surgery wouldn’t necessarily prevent Urlacher from playing in the opener.

“It’s fast, but it’s realistic,” the surgeon said.

The Bears play again just four days later.

Don’t expect Urlacher to suit up for both of those contests.

In less interesting news, Urlacher reportedly has split with actress Jenny McCarthy.


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