Mark Sanchez on coming back to New England: ‘It was everything I expected’
|08.12.14 at 6:59 pm ET|
Even though he’s no longer on the Jets, Sanchez returned to Foxboro Tuesday for joint practices — now wearing an Eagles uniform, backing up quarterback Nick Foles.
The former Jets quarterback was heckled as soon as he walked onto the practice field — although once the practice got going the taunting subsided.
“It was everything I expected,” Sanchez said. “I expected them to run a sharp practice — they did. I expected them to be as good as they are on Sunday’s as in practice — which they were. I think Coach Belichick has a great system here and guys totally buy in. I think they do a great job. We’ve always had a lot of respect for them. Everything I expected.”
Sanchez missed the entire 2013 season with the Jets after suffering a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder during the preseason. He was released March 21, 2014 and then was signed by the Eagles five days later.
After a little less than a full year of rehab, Sanchez finally feels back to full strength.
“It’s a long rehab, but I started feeling 100 percent about a month ago right after OTA’s ended and we got that little break. I felt great,” he said. “I came into camp and haven’t looked back. Totally turned the page from last year and feel good.”
For the first time in quite some time, Sanchez is not the starting quarterback in training camp. Foles put up spectacular numbers in 13 games last season throwing for 2,891 yards and 27 touchdowns, while having a 27 touchdown-to-2-interception ratio. Sanchez understands his role and is embracing it.
“Yeah, after Nick’s year last year that is only fair to him,” Sanchez said. “He played top-five in the league I think it was so he absolutely deserves that and we are supporting him 100 percent. I just have to stay ready and now that I am healthy it feels good to be back out on the field. Whatever they need me to do to help the team I’m ready.”
While he may not be starting with the Eagles now, Sanchez is confident he can get back to the level he once was with the Jets, making it to two AFC championship games.
“No doubt,” he said. “You just need an opportunity to prove it. Whenever that comes ‘ whether it is this year, next year, the Eagles, somewhere else ‘ it doesn’t matter. If I get back out on the field I will play well and that is how I feel. I am optimistic about it, but I’ve seen a lot of football. I’ve won a lot of games and lost a lot of games, I have a lot of experience under my belt. I’ve seen it all, nothing really phases me.”