Sanchez: 'I'll be back on the field and play well'

Sanchez: 'I'll be back on the field and play well'
August 13, 2014, 12:30 pm
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FOXBORO – The constant scrutiny of Mark Sanchez is gone. It’s been replaced by fleeting recognition when he gets under center for the Philadelphia Eagles to run their second or third-team offense.
 
“Oh, yeah. Sanchez is here now.”
 
The quarterback who once billed as “Sanchize” is biding time and waiting for a break so he can put the paddles to the chest of a flagging career.
 
Can he return to being a quarterback capable of playing not just with the 1s, but in games of huge import as he was in his first two seasons with the Jets when he quarterbacked New York to back-to-back conference championship games?
 
“Oh no doubt,” Sanchez stated after the Eagles first joint practice with the Patriots. “Just need an opportunity to prove it. Whenever that comes, whether it's this year, next year, with the Eagles or somewhere else, it doesn't matter. I'll get back on the field and play well. That's how I feel. I'm optimistic about it. I've seen a lot of football. Won a lot of games. Lost a lot of games. Got a lot of experience under my belt. Kinda seen it, almost, all. Nothing really fazes me. I'm ready to go.”
 
The end in New York wasn’t pretty. Geno Smith was drafted as Sanchez’ heir apparent. Then a torn labrum suffered in the fourth quarter of a preseason game wound up landing Sanchez on short-term injured reserve last September 14. The fact that Sanchez was playing in the fourth quarter of a preseason game was evidence enough that he was already gone before the injury.
 
A month later, he had surgery that ended his season. When the Jets signed Michael Vick in March, Sanchez was released. A week later, the Eagles brought him aboard to compete with Matt Barkley for the backup job in Philly.
 
“It's a long rehab, but I started feeling 100 percent probably about a month ago,” Sanchez declared. “Right after OTAs ended and we got that little break I felt great. Came into camp and just haven't looked back. I've totally turned the page from last year and I feel good.”
 
He understands the job in Philly belongs to starter Nick Foles.
 
“After Nick's year last year, that's only fair to him. He played top-five in the league I think it was. He absolutely deserves that,” said Sanchez. “We're supporting him 100 percent. I just gotta stay ready. Now that I'm healthy it feels good to be back on the field. Whatever they need me to do to help the team, I'm going to be ready.”
 
I asked Sanchez about how he regards his time with the Jets now that they are in his rearview mirror.
 
“Ups and downs, highs and lows, everything. I enjoyed it all,” he insisted. “Wouldn't change anything. It was an incredible experience. I thought we had some great runs up there, man. We had some competitive games against (the Patriots). Some fun memories for my family, all my friends and everybody back home so it was an incredible time. I was ready to turn the page. I think they were too. You move on, wish 'em luck and get after it.”
 
As for working out on the practice field with the team he competed against for five seasons, Sanchez was complimentary.  
 
“It was everything I expected. I expected them to run a sharp practice. They did. I expected them to be as good as they are on Sundays in practice and they were. I think (the Patriots) have a great system here. Guys totally buy in and they do a great job. I've always had a lot of respect for them. Everything I expected.”