Ex-Jet on Sanchez: 'He worked extremely hard' in practice

Derrick Mason played just five games with the Jets, but he's certainly comfortable speaking candidly about the demise of the team that labeled him a malcontent and shoved him out the door.

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The wide receiver pointed out Monday that the Jets' continued dysfunction after his Oct. 11 trade to the Texans served as proof he wasn't the locker-room cancer as portrayed.

On Wednesday, he told Fox Sports Radio that pointed criticism leveled at Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez in a New York Daily News report didn't jibe with the Sanchez he played with for two-plus months.

"Mark, I've never seen the lack of work ethic, ever," said Mason, who earlier in the week revealed plans to retire after 15 NFL seasons. "Because he worked extremely hard on the practice field, he studied his butt off. He's a guy that wanted to get better each and every game. I just think he was inconsistent throughout the whole season last year."

One of the critiques leveled at Sanchez in the Daily News report was an inability to process weekly game plans. Mason believes Sanchez wasn't always comfortable with the attack put in place by now-departed offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer.

"Some weeks, as we'd all seen, he would play great," Mason said. "Then he'd have two games in a row where he's playing as if he's never grasped the offense or really knows how to play that position."

Jets center Nick Mangold came to his quarterback's defense Wednesday, tweeting that the Daily News report is "false" and adding: "If 'unnamed sources' want to attack Mark, man up and put your name to it." But it might behoove Sanchez to emerge at some point to defend himself from all this sniping.

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