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Embattled Sanchez finds another critic in former Jets DT Jenkins

  • By Dan Hanzus NFL.com
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Even if Greg McElroy never takes a snap for the Jets, the third-string quarterback can rest easy knowing he's already earned a place in team lore.

McElroy told an Alabama radio station on Wednesday that selfishness created a "corrupt mindset" in the Jets' locker room, gutsy words from a seventh-round pick who spent his entire rookie year on injured reserve.

Mark Sanchez's September 2011 spread in GQ was a red flag for former Jets DT Kris Jenkins.
Mark Sanchez's September 2011 spread in GQ was a red flag for former Jets DT Kris Jenkins. (GQ Magazine/)

Though surely not his intention, McElroy's observation had the effect of shining a spotlight on the perceived timidity of Mark Sanchez. Former Jets defensive tackle Kris Jenkins made that very point in a Thursday interview on ESPN Radio.

“The No. 1 quarterback should have said that a long time ago,” Jenkins said. “It would have been all part of the process of him growing a pair and standing up and being a man. But the thing is, he lost his because he got caught up in the wash that is New York, in the spotlight, taking pictures in the magazines and doing all of that stuff. That’s just what everybody has seen with Mark Sanchez, they got tired of it.”

Stinging words from a former teammate who had been a supporter of Sanchez during his time with the Jets.

“I think Mark wants to be a leader, but there’s a difference between wanting it and taking it,” Jenkins, who retired this year, went on. "He’s always trying to be a crowd pleaser. He’s always trying to be nice. He wants the leadership but he's not willing to take it."

Sanchez isn't the first high-profile quarterback to pose for a fashion pictorial -- Tom Brady is a paid endorser for UGGs for crying out loud -- but a disappointing season and four months of canned jock speak have conspired to give Sanchez a perception problem.

Of course, he could help his cause by speaking up. Any time now, Sanchize.

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