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Published May 10, 2011

Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman almost ended up with the Jets in the 2009 NFL Draft. In his new book, Play Like You Mean It, Jets coach Rex Ryan said it was a toss-up as to whether to take Freeman or USC's Mark Sanchez. The Jets ultimately took Sanchez and their decision definitely came down to what officially can be labeled as nit-picking. Ryan wrote that both impressed the Jets.

"We sent both of them a mini-playbook and asked them to learn what they could from it before they met with us,'' Ryan told Sports Illustrated's Peter King. "They both blew the doors off us when we got them in a room. We'd ask about out formations and bam-bam-bam, they knew it all quick. Both very, very sharp guys.''

But in his book, Ryan said that 24 high school and college teammates showed up for Sanchez's pro workout day, while only two of Freeman's receivers showed up to catch passes.

"Honestly,'' Ryan told King for his Monday Morning QB, "that might have been what separated them -- the immense respect we sensed from the people who played with Mark and knew him so well.''