More than once, Jets coaches have voiced support for their young quarterback, Mark Sanchez, who's taken his share of abuse while learning on the job since 2009.
This time around, it was Sanchez sticking up for his offensive coordinator, Brian Schottenheimer, the subject of vocal second-guessing by fans and analysts during New York's turbulent three-game free fall.
"That's an easy out for fans and critics but that's fine," Sanchez said during his weekly spot on ESPN Radio, via The Star-Ledger. "That's their job and they're supposed to have opinions and when you don't play well, people are going to let you know what they think and how they feel ... but I'm totally behind Brian .... and all the coaches and players are as well."
Sanchez said he didn't believe reports that Jets receivers Santonio Holmes, Plaxico Burress and Derrick Mason (before he was shipped to the Houston Texans on Tuesday) met with coach Rex Ryan to voice their displeasure with Schottenheimer's scheme, which ranks 28th in the league.
"I don't think that happened and I'm sure the team would have addressed it if it did," Sanchez said. "... I'm not buying it."
This week, Ryan is selling the idea that his 2009 Jets team went to the AFC Championship Game after surviving a pair of three-game losing streaks. That season included two losses to this week's opponent, the Miami Dolphins, who have beaten the Jets in three of their last four meetings but appear in significant disarray this time around.
Ryan was firing on all cylinders Monday in a Hulk Hogan-esque effort to pump up his team's drifting Q rating: "We're 2-3 right now. That's when you get stronger. That's when you come in together and you build that character. This is a resilient bunch, I'm telling you."
He's telling us, but he's been telling us these things for a long time.