By Eric Schmidt

In a ploy to try to motivate QB Mark Sanchez, New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan gave backup quarterback Mark Brunell some reps with the team’s first-team offense. Mark Sanchez has received heavy criticism over his play on the field this season as he has not shown the progression that many would have thought he’d be showing in his third season in the league.

This is not the first time Ryan has tried this tactic. With Sanchez struggling last season, Ryan gave Brunell reps with the first team offense in order to motivate Mark Sanchez. The result? Sanchez played better and led the New York Jets to the playoffs.

The New York Jets are currently 5-5 and fighting for their playoff lives. New York, the loser of two straight, finds themselves on the outside looking in at the playoff race and are going to need to run the table on their remaining games. New York has already lost to the Baltimore Ravens, Denver Broncos and the Oakland raiders so they would lose any head-to-head tiebreakers with those teams at the end of the season.

Sanchez has been struggling in the Jets two losses, throwing four interceptions.

Rex Ryan didn’t try to conceal his ploy to reporters after practice. “You know me. If I think something’s working, we’ll go with it. If we played better when we did it last year, then I will do that…” Ryan told the media.

The Jets host the slumping Buffalo Bills on Sunday. Buffalo is the loser of three straight and four of their last five. Buffalo’s high-powered offense that started the season has been sputtering with the Bills scoring only 26 points in the last three games.




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