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Jets teammates defend Sanchez amid heavy criticism

By Dennis Waszak Jr.

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 11 2012 3:07 p.m. MST

FILE - In this Jan. 1,2012 file photo, New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) grimaces on the sideline during the final minutes of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, in Miami. The fallout from coach Rex Ryan's Jets failing to make the playoffs is in full swing, with coaches leaving, some anonymous players taking shots at quarterback Mark Sanchez and other teammates going on the record and defending him.

Lynne Sladky, File, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

NEW YORK — The fallout from coach Rex Ryan's Jets failing to make the playoffs is in full swing, with coaches leaving, some players taking shots at quarterback Mark Sanchez and others defending him.

In less than 24 hours, the coaching staff was shaken up with offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer walking away, former Dolphins coach Tony Sparano replacing him, and a few assistants saying they won't be back. Now the latest controversy involves the shaky status of Sanchez.

Some players say Sanchez lacks the work ethic and leadership skills to ever lead the Jets to the Super Bowl. And with a new offensive coordinator in charge, the window for Sanchez to do so might have gotten a lot smaller. Still, some teammates insist Sanchez is the right guy for the job.

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