Under spectacular media and fan duress, Sanchez has held himself together with equal parts patience and good cheer. Day after day, he has been asked about handling Tebow's presence. He has heard nothing but how the Jets can't win a Super Bowl with him. If he says something critical of Tebow he'll get creamed by the army of Tebow worshippers. If he is too kind in his assessment of Tebow, he'll be called a phony.
So give him his marks. He walks the line. When pressed about owner Woody Johnson's remark, "You can never have enough Tim Tebow," Sanchez was good-natured enough to joke: "Selling seats, man." The guy makes millions. He dates models. It would be crazy for any red-blooded American male to say he wouldn't want to be Mark Sanchez, but, man, how many of us would be able to handle so much scrutiny, so much criticism?
"I bought in," Sanchez said. "Not just to the Wildcat. Transcending football — we're a family."
Everything about Tebow is larger than life. The truth is the Wildcat was little more than a diversion against the Bills. He ran five times for 11 yards. He lined up in the slot on the opening play. Sanchez split out as a receiver on a couple of Wildcats. He recovered an onside kick attempt for the first time since he was a freshman at Florida. All told, Tebow's eight plays as quarterback produced only 22 of the 384 total net yards. When he ran for no yards down near the goal line with two minutes left in the first half, he was booed for stalling Sanchez's momentum.
It was kind of funny.
"Efficient," Tebow said of the Wildcat. "Obviously you would like to have a big play in there. But I think we're showing teams a lot of different looks. That's definitely tough to deal with."
"It's only the tip of the iceberg," Sanchez said. "We've got plenty more in our grab bag with the Wildcat."
Said Ryan, "Whether it's one snap, 20 or 50, we have that flexibility. As much time as the other team spent on the Wildcat, maybe it took away from some other preparation."
So maybe Sanchez has a bad day in Pittsburgh next week. Maybe Tebow suddenly becomes the most popular guy in New York. Just remember Sanchez showed Sunday he can do things Tebow cannot. And when it was finished, he showed some real perspective.
"I used to rush off to the shower, and Mark Brunell used to tell me, 'Take a few minutes in your locker. Sit there and enjoy it.' There's a big difference between that and saying, "We told you so! We're the best!' That's not our deal."
Sanity with the Jets? Wow.