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Sports

December 6, 2012

Still Jets' starter, Sanchez out to prove himself

(Continued)

“I’m just disappointed because I let a lot of people down,” Sanchez said. “You let a lot of teammates down when you play like that. That never feels good. It just doesn’t, not the way I prepare, not with the skill set I’ve been blessed to have.”

Money might have played a role in the decision, too, with Sanchez owed $8.25 million next year in guarantees. But Ryan adamantly denied that factored into things.

“Absolutely zero,” he said without hesitating.

Still, the Jets are likely stuck with Sanchez and his contract, so they need to see if he can rebound after the lowest point of his career.

“I believe in Mark,” Ryan said.

It didn’t appear Tebow was much of a factor in Ryan’s decision. Ryan said all three quarterbacks would be in the mix, but didn’t speculate whether he would have pulled Sanchez in favor of Tebow last Sunday if he were active.

“I’m not too worried about it,” Tebow said. “Just trying to get better and trying to heal up.”

Tebow was expected to have a major role in the offense, but instead has been a spare part averaging about seven offensive snaps per game. He has been listed as the No. 2 quarterback on the depth chart, but if the Jets turned to McElroy, it would have meant the No. 3 guy leapfrogged Tebow to start for the Jets.

McElroy said he has had a “normal” week so far, taking his usual number of snaps along with practicing with the scout team.

“You’re not guaranteed anything, not at all,” McElroy said. “You do your best to make the most of your opportunity and do your best to help the team.”

The fact the next two games are on the road should also help Sanchez. He was booed mercilessly by the MetLife Stadium crowd last Sunday, particularly after each interception, and chants for McElroy were heard throughout the game. McElroy was cheered as he warmed up late in the third quarter, and there was growing sentiment among some fans and media that he earned a start after lifting the team.

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