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Get ready for bigger, badder Sanchez in 2012

One of the knocks on Mark Sanchez last season was that he grew comfortable without a quality backup breathing down his neck.

He remains the New York Jets starter, but unless you've spent the past three months in a chained-up fortress in the Scandinavian wilderness, you're well-aware Sanchez has company in Florham Park.

Tim Tebow is in the building and Sanchez is doing everything he can to improve his game and stay in the lineup. Sanchez talked this week about gaining strength to properly ride out New York's 16-game season.

"Just starting with this first couple of weeks, one of these things is in the weight room, to really push myself and get a little stronger, a little thicker and maintain my agility, my speed and things like that. That was No. 1 physically," Sanchez told ESPN.com's James Walker during the Jets' OTAs.

Tebow is one the bulkiest quarterbacks in the league -- who else, Brady Quinn? -- but we doubt Sanchez feels threatened by that. This is about remaining one of the more durable quarterbacks in football. Sanchez has started 47 of a possible 48 games in his career, and doesn't receive enough credit for his ability to play through pain.

What it also means is that Sanchez has never been afforded a chance to sit back and learn, the way Aaron Rodgers and other young passers have in the past. It might help, but that ship has sailed. The last thing Sanchez wants now is follow the offense from the sideline.

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