Mark Sanchez hoped to be ready for the minicamp next week and Tuesday took a step toward that by participating in team drills during the New York Jets' OTA at the team's Florham Park training facility. Several who watched the quarterback said he looked strong and was a crisp playmaker.
Sanchez, going into his second season with the Jets, snuck into a running play during the 11-on-11 drills two weeks ago, but this was the first time that Sanchez was back and participating fully with the team since undergoing knee surgery three months ago.
"He looked really well, sharp," said one player to ESPNNewYork.com. "Made some nice throws against our defense."
Sanchez had been throwing in 7-on-7 situations but had been kept out of the team drills as the cautious medical staff allowed his surgically repaired knee to improve. Last week, Sanchez said he thought he would be ready for the minicamp on June 14 and said he was moving well.
"It feels really good," Sanchez said last week. "The scary stuff is when the scar tissue pops, but it just feels good. It alleviates all the pain. It's natural. That was probably the scariest thing and part of it is psychological rehab too. You want to feel right about it in your head first, and that's why we do all the exercises in the training room. I feel good. My feet are under me and I'm getting some good spin on the ball [and] really using my legs."
During the OTAs open to the media, Sanchez has looked confident and thrown well despite the fact that team doctors didn't have him running on land until about a month ago.
Last week, he admitted that it's been tough to be held out of drills.
"It's hard right now," Sanchez said. "It's frustrating. Doing the drills on the side, going through 7-on-7s and then having to watch special categories, having to watch the team, having to watch them move the ball, stuff that I love doing and the reps that I like getting and the reps that I need, so as soon as I get the opportunity, I'm chomping at the bit now to do it. As soon as they come, I need to make the most of the ones I get and, hopefully, all of them in minicamp and then watch that film and get ready for camp."
The Jets have one more OTA on Thursday and then the mandatory minicamp begins Monday.