I know it is anecdotal, but there was a big change by many accounts in the leadership role Mark Sanchez played with the Jets in 2010. Many players talked about it. Nick Mangold said the following to me:
He's done a great job of understanding the offense and being able to get guys where they need to be. I think when he first came in, he didn't really know what was going on and just knew what he had to do. Now he knows what everyone needs to do.
I think it goes deeper that this, though. I think back to the Cleveland game. He pulled two teammates, Braylon Edwards and Robert Turner, out of fights that could have resulted in costly penalties. He took shot after shot and appeared to be limping at times in the second half but kept fighting, stayed on the field, and played great in a victory.
Things like this are small but important. A franchise quarterback is the kind of guy who commands respect and earns it on the field both by initiative and example. We saw the Jets become Mark Sanchez's team more in 2010 than it was his rookie year.