CULVER CITY, Calif. -- Mark Sanchez has been an international man of mystery this winter.
After his late-season funk helped seal the Jets' fate in December, Sanchez quickly morphed from franchise golden boy to problem child. The Sanchez sniping hit epidemic levels, with unnamed teammates calling him coddled and questioning his work ethic.
Boomer Esiason even likened Sanchez to a scared Chihuahua at one point, an egregious bit of Jet-on-Jet crime.
LaDainian Tomlinson was a teammate of Sanchez's the past two seasons, and the five-time Pro Bowl selection said he wasn't surprised the quarterback didn't emerge to defend his name.
"I'm not surprised, knowing Mark like I know him, he's not really the type of guy to respond to what people say," Tomlinson told NFL.com on Thursday. "He's just not that way. He's going to keep on doing what he does, and not worry about what teammates think or people outside his circle think about him."
Of course, these weren't just newspaper columnists and ESPN talking heads taking the shots. These were teammates and others within the organization. Is that really something Sanchez doesn't care about?
"I think being a young player it definitely bothers him because he's still trying to find his way in the league, still becoming that leader on the team," Tomlinson said. "I think it does, naturally with any of us it would for your teammates to anonymously say stuff about you. I think he definitely doesn't enjoy that part of it."
Tomlinson told NFL Network Wednesday he believed Sanchez would ask for his release if the Jets were to sign Peyton Manning. Tomlinson, who's about to become a free agent, added that he might follow Manning back to the Jets if the former Colts legend were to sign there.
Tomlinson might like Sanchez, but like only takes you so far.