New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez has always had the spotlight on him. From his high school days at Mission Viejo in California, to his college days at USC, the SoCal kid has never been one to sneak under the radar.
For better or for worse, the 25-year-old Sanchez (left) has always had his every move dissected, every success and every failure. Of course, his three seasons in New York have been no different.
Through it all, he’s taken it in stride, never letting the bright lights burn too hot, even when the criticism runs rampant like it has in the recent months following the Jets’ disappointing 2011 season.
Despite his inconsistent play over his first three NFL seasons, Sanchez is still looked at as one of the leaders of the Jets offense by his teammates and coaches.
True leaders are leaders not just for what they do in public, with everyone watching them, but for what they do behind closed doors as well.
For the third straight summer, Mark Sanchez will be organizing his own private mini-camp, “Jets West,” a five-day passing camp that includes an all-expenses-paid trip to SoCal for many of his offensive teammates.
This year, one of those teammates will be the enigmatic Tim Tebow. Yes, Sanchez invited his new high-profile teammate to work out at Jets West, and Tebow will be there, along with third-string quarterback Greg McElroy.
“It’s just so important to spend time together as much as possible,” said McElroy. “It’s a good opportunity for us to get out of our element and do something social as a group. … It’s a lot of football and a lot of fun.”
Dates for the event (which will not be opened to the public this year) are unclear, but it’s expected to take place in late June or early July, before the start of the Jets’ official training camp in Cortland on July 26.
Running backs Shonn Greene and Joe McKnight, fullback John Conner, wide receivers Jeremy Kerley, Patrick Turner and Scotty McKnight, and tight ends Dustin Keller, Jeff Cumberland and Josh Baker will also attend.
Rookie running back Terrance Ganaway declined Sanchez’s invite to spend as much time with his family as he can, prior to his NFL career starting up. Additionally, rookie receiver Jordan White will sit out with a foot injury.
Update: Santonio Holmes has also committed to Jets West, and he will be there as well.
Jets West is one of the things that I admire about Mark Sanchez. It’s the type of leadership you can’t learn, you’re just born with.
He knows that he needs to step his game up in 2012, and he’s going to do everything in his power to make sure that happens, including extra reps and extra practice with his teammates. Hard not to like that work ethic.