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Vinny Testaverde: Mark Sanchez needs to stay positive

Mark Sanchez's teammates on the New York Jets might foresee a breakout season for the fourth-year quarterback, but all eyes in the sports world are fixated on Tim Tebow.

Former Jets quarterback Vinny Testaverde -- who ranks fifth on the team's all-time passing yards and passing touchdowns list, just ahead of Sanchez -- weighed in on the Jets' quarterback situation during a Thursday morning appearance on "NFL AM".

"In my opinion, it's going to be up to the coaching staff and how they handle the offense and their philosophy. But the other part to that is Mark Sanchez and how he handles things," Testaverde said. "I don't care who you are at quarterback, and how great you played, you always go through some controversy. And when it happens, Mark Sanchez is going to have to stay positive, stay focused and not let anything get to him so that he can have success."

The starting job is certainly Sanchez's to lose. Further evidence of that may have come on Wednesday when Brian Costello of the New York Post noted that the team's quarterbacks were throwing the ball 40 yards into a garbage can while Tebow was working with the special teams unit.

Injuries at the receiver position could alter the team's approach on offense, which could result in a run-heavy, Tim Tebow-led attack. Fans demanding to see No. 15 could also be a factor.

"I think that just to play quarterback in the NFL is a lot of pressure," said Testaverde. "To play quarterback in New York adds more pressure. And I think there's a little bit more pressure now that Tim Tebow is on board.

"And Mark, I think, understands that there's some people who are going to want to see Tim Tebow in there at the quarterback position. I think if the coaching staff handles it in the proper fashion the team can be very successful. And that's the bottom line: it's winning games, being successful and trying to win a championship."

Follow Brian McIntyre on Twitter @brian_mcintyre.

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