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Jets' Rex Ryan: Mark Sanchez's arm 'looks stronger'

New York Jets coach Rex Ryan has hit that level of weight loss where he's starting to resemble a different person.

The blue eyes and impossibly white teeth are still there, but everything else has been streamlined -- from the shape of his face, to the size of his arms, to the slope of his shoulders. Standing at the podium at Florham Park, Ryan looks (quite literally) like half the man he used to be.

Dropping 90 pounds can have this effect, but Ryan seems instantly familiar once he opens his mouth: Eternally confident in his players, fully in belief of his operation.

On Thursday, Ryan hit on a number of topics after the Jets' OTA session.

On Mark Sanchez, who looked sharp in drills:

"This kid is in great shape, as are most of our guys. I just think he's stronger. Obviously, going into his fourth year, he's seen a lot of different things, but that arm, it looks stronger to me. ... He's really zipping it. He's also throwing with touch and things. I really like the way he is throwing the football."

On whether Tim Tebow's presence on the field -- he struggled as QB -- drives Sanchez to be better:

"You probably have to ask Mark. We're excited Tim Tebow is here. I think those two guys, they're good teammates, they're really good teammates, they're good for each other and good for our football team in general. They're both very competitive guys, and that's great. At the end of the day we want 53 great competitors and good teammates, and I think we'll have that this year."

On Tebow's presence on the punt team:

"They're going to line up, and they're going to come after Tebow. I can tell you one guy that's not afraid of it, and that's Tim Tebow. And I'm not afraid of it, either. What he can help us with, being that personal protector on the punt team, is 'Are you sure you really want to rush that punt?' If it is 4th-and-6 or 7, are you sure you really want to rush it, because we may fake it. (Special teams coach Mike Westhoff) is crazy enough to fake it.

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"We had Brad Smith. Did you really want to rush when Brad Smith was your personal protector, a guy that can throw it? Tim gives you that inside running presence, outside running presence, he can throw it. And -- by the way -- he'll run. He's a football player, we said it a long time ago. This guy is an excellent football player, a great competitor, and I have a feeling he'll run down and tackle somebody."

On how last year's 8-8 disappointment carries over to this year's team:

"Not being in the playoffs, I think, stung everybody, and motivated us, drives us. And Sanchez, I think, that is the greatest motivator there is. Hungry for being in the postseason, I think, is the biggest driving force we have."

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