CORTLAND, N.Y. -- Soon after the news broke that his son had suffered a broken collarbone on Monday in a practice with the Clemson football team, New York Jets coach Rex Ryan got a text message from one of his former players -- the first text he received after the injury.
It came from Mark Sanchez, who was looking for Seth Ryan's cell number.
It was a classy move by Sanchez, who was released by the New York Jets last March after five seasons in New York. Sanchez and Ryan's son became friends a few years back, when Seth played for Summit High School in New Jersey. In fact, Sanchez attended some of his games. Seth became a walk-on wide receiver at Clemson and now is a redshirt freshman.
Rex Ryan was touched by Sanchez's gesture, mentioning it to reporters on Tuesday after his daily news conference at training camp. There has been a lot of speculation about the Ryan-Sanchez relationship, even since Sanchez suffered a season-ending shoulder injury last preseason. Ryan received a lot of criticism for inserting Sanchez in the fourth quarter of the third game, behind a backup offensive line. It proved disastrous, as Sanchez required surgery to repair his labrum. Apparently, the coach and his former quarterback remain on solid ground.
Sanchez was Ryan's first draft pick, back in 2009, and together they reached the AFC championship game in 2009 and 2010. Their relationship made headlines in January 2013 when it was revealed that Ryan has a tattoo on his right arm that includes a likeness of a Sanchez No. 6 jersey.