Sanchez Winning Friends

Mark Sanchez really impressed some of his teammates with his head first charge to the end zone in the first quarter yesterday.

Mark Sanchez had already won over the Jets' locker room by the time he neared the goal line on their first possession against the Titans, on a day when he became the first rookie quarterback in NFL history to open the season 3-0.

Even before he beat the Patriots last week, his teammates were calling him The San-chize. But when Sanchez lowered his head instead of sliding and ran through Titans safety Michael Griffin at the 2-yard line and spun into the end zone, reaching the ball over the goal line, the players officially knew the kid was for real.

He is not going to back down. He is not a "chuck and duck" quarterback, as Bart Scott put it.

I'll be up front. I never want to see the franchise quarterback sticking his head out to deliver a hit ever again.

In this case, though, it was a good thing. Sanchez had two things working against him in the locker room. He is a quarterback, and he is a rookie. Respect among teammates is earned. Some young quarterbacks don't understand that. They take their position for granted and expect everybody to follow them as leaders right off the bat. Taking a hit like that for the team will endear Sanchez to the other players on the roster.

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