NEW YORK -- The Sanchize has a new nickname: Captain Mark.
"I see the way the guys are around him," Ryan said. "This is really going to be his team. I'm not big on giving out those captain things, but we will put the 'C' on his jersey this year."
Ryan traditionally alternated captains each week before games in his first two seasons, but he said he'll have one each on offense, defense and special teams this year. On offense, "clearly it is Mark Sanchez and it is his team."
"I really never knew the roster the way I know it now," Ryan said, "now being our third year here. And I'm really comfortable doing this now."
Sanchez, entering his third season, has quickly earned the respect of his teammates with his work ethic and leadership abilities. He has helped lead the Jets reach the AFC Championship Game in consecutive years and said Tuesday he'd be willing to restructure his contract if it helped the team land marquee free agents.
"Am I trying to drive up the jersey sales for Sanchez? Maybe that's true," Ryan quipped. "But it is something I take seriously. I think he's earned that, and I'm excited to see this young man grow."
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press