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Sanchez: Rookie QBs Need a Vet to Lean On

Former Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez was the fifth overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, and head coach Rex Ryan named him the starter before the season began. In other words, Sanchez is perfectly suited to discuss the various situations for the five first-round quarterbacks that were just drafted and how soon they might take the field.

Mark SanchezMost observers assume it’s a given that Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson will be Week 1 starters for the Jags and Jets, respectively. But what about Trey Lance (49ers), Justin Fields (Bears) and Mac Jones (Patriots)?

Sanchez joined this week’s 33rd Team Call to discuss the subject. For starters, he talked about the value of having an experienced QB in the locker room to help the rookie’s develop. For Sanchez, that support was veteran Mark Brunell.

“At that point, I think Brunell was going into his 18th season,” recalled Sanchez. “We made the joke on Hard Knocks that his oldest daughter in college was closer in age to me than him. Like, he could have been my dad!”

Added Sanchez: “Those kind of guys are so valuable in the locker room because they have so much built-up equity in the league and so much respect. So you’re just gleaning off of them.”

Sanchez also praised then-Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum for bringing former quarterbacks and QB coaches into the facility to help.

“He brought in Rich Gannon. Jon Gruden came through. He had a bunch of people talk to me about how to study, how to get ready for the week. What to watch on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday… So this guy spends lot of time at the facility? What’s he doing? What’s his process? How’s he learning? What is he learning? What is he deficient in? Does he know protections? Or is he scared to even get into ’em because he’s unaware?

“Those are the kind of things that someone like Brunell and some of those salty old vets can help with.”

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