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MatesheavilycriticizeJets QB

NEW YORK — Jets players anonymously criticized quarterback Mark Sanchez in Wednesday's edition of New York's Daily News.

One said the team should bring in another quarterback to motivate Sanchez to practice harder. He said Sanchez is content because he knows he won't be benched.

Sanchez, unavailable for comment, threw a career-high 26 touchdowns but committed a career-high 26 turnovers, including nine during a season-ending three-game skid.

The paper also reported one player hopes the team trades for Peyton Manning, 35, who could be available if the Colts draft Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck No. 1 overall.

Jets center Nick Mangold defended Sanchez.

"I've never seen anybody work as hard as Mark has," he said. "I support him fully, and I think the locker room does as well."

Even over Manning?

"Mark Sanchez is my guy," Mangold said. "He's the one I want to go to battle with. I wouldn't be too keen to see that changed.

"If there's really a problem … you should man up and own up to what you're going to say. When no one has their name attached to it, I think it's kind of an easy way out to air your personal grievances that should be kept in the locker room."

More Jets: Tony Sparano was hired as offensive coordinator. The move came about 12 hours after Brian Schottenheimer announced he would not return. (The Birmingham News later reported Schottenheimer will interview to be Alabama's offensive coordinator.) Sparano was fired as Dolphins coach in December after going 29-32 in three-plus seasons. This will be his first offensive coordinator job, but he called plays for Dallas in 2006. Meanwhile, Todd Haley, the former Chiefs coach and Cardinals offensive coordinator, is set to interview for an undetermined position today.

Jaguars make hiring of Mularkey official

JACKSONVILLE — Mike Mularkey is far from a splashy hire. The Jaguars, who introduced him as coach, know it.

Owner Shahid Khan said he spoke with big-name candidates then decided to make the "smart" choice by hiring the ex-Falcons offensive coordinator.

"We will know in September how good a job he is doing preparing, strategizing, (assembling) the staff," Khan said. "By that time, the buzz, the splash, is going to be history."

Mularkey, 50, said he expects to be a better coach than when he went 14-18 in 2004-05 with the Bills. Unlike then, he will hire a play-caller.

"Some guys are very good at managing the game and calling plays," he said. "I'm not one of them."

More Jaguars: Offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter will meet with Alabama about becoming offensive coordinator, ESPN.com reported.

Colts: Ryan Grigson, director of player personnel for the Eagles, was hired as general manager. He replaces vice chairman Bill Polian and son Chris, the GM, who were fired.

Cowboys: Offensive line coach Hudson Houck retired after a 45-year coaching career that included 29 in the NFL. Houck, 69, spent 13 seasons over two stints with Dallas and was with them for two Super Bowl titles.

Vikings: The mayor of Shakopee, a suburb about 20 miles south of Minneapolis, said his city could be the site of a new stadium. But the team said the offer is too late for serious consideration if state lawmakers are to vote on a bill this year. Minneapolis and Ramsey County are the front-runners.

Pro Bowl: Falcons receiver Roddy White replaced Lions receiver Calvin Johnson, who has an Achilles' injury.

MatesheavilycriticizeJets QB 01/11/12 [Last modified: Thursday, January 12, 2012 12:00am]
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