Less than three weeks from now, the New York Jets will return to Cortland, NY for the official start of their 2012 training camp.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about the impact that Cortland camp has on the team, and quarterback Mark Sanchez recently talked about what it means to him.
“Cortland never hurts,” Sanchez said. “I think it can only help us, especially with all the off-the-field stuff.”
For a team in desperate need of a locker room overhaul compared to last season, the team bonding experience is huge. They can escape the distractions of the big city in the quiet, central New York town.
Even though the Jets were unable to attend Cortland camp last season, due to the NFL lockout, the familiarity they have the area definitely helps the comfort level.
“My rookie year, I was pretty anxious. I didn’t know what to expect,” Sanchez said. “I have a little better understanding each year of what’s coming. So I’ve got that routine planned in my head.”
Cortland is a secluded town with not many attractions, or distractions, and that was exactly what Jets coach Rex Ryan was looking for when he started the annual Cortland trips in 2009.
“It’s actually a good time, it really is,” Sanchez said. “You figure out stuff to do. You figure it in those quick, short breaks from meetings when there’s time to goof around and have fun.”
“Then you’d better be ready to snap back and get your focus for coach Sparano.”
The 25-year-old quarterback knows that he has a lot to build upon and improve on going into his fourth season, but he’s more than ready to step up and answer the call.
“It’s going to be a good year for us,” he said. “We’re just ready to get started.”