- Rich Cimini, ESPN Staff Writer
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In the offensive meeting room, where embattled coordinator Brian Schottenheimer was looking for answers, Sanchez stood up and addressed the group, according to sources. It wasn't a Knute Rockne speech; he just emphasized the importance of showing accountability and focusing on details, sources said.
"We're ready to have a breakout game," the quarterback said later at his locker, demonstrating some Rex Ryan-esque bravado. "I think [there is] no better week to do it. We'll get a win in our new stadium and get things rolling again."
The offense played poorly in the season-opening 10-9 loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Monday, producing just 74 yards through the air.
Joe Namath, who usually wears green-colored glasses in the darkest of times, criticized the offense for being dysfunctional in a newspaper article Wednesday. And Ryan faced questions about a rumored, postgame altercation between him and Schottenheimer, which Ryan emphatically denied. Schottenheimer wasn't available for comment.
The feeling close to the team is the offense will be simplified Sunday against the New England Patriots, focusing on straightforward, smashmouth football -- a deviation from the pre-snap motioning and shifting seen against the Ravens.
Amid the gloom and doom, Sanchez has remained upbeat, predicting a turnaround.
"We'll have games where we throw for over 300 yards," he said. "I know it. I'm confident in it."
The Jets' last 300-yard passing day was Jan. 1, 2007, when Chad Pennington threw for 300 in a playoff loss to the Patriots. That means they've gone 36 straight games without a 300-yard performance, counting the postseason.
At this point, a 200-yard game would qualify as a breakout. Ryan insisted that last week's conservative attack was strictly a game plan-specific approach and not a reflection of his faith (or lack thereof) in Sanchez.
"I have more confidence now than I ever did," said Ryan, who reiterated his desire to incorporate more downfield throws into the game plan.
The Patriots pride themselves on limiting big plays in the passing game, and they're good at it. But you get the feeling that Monday night was a wake-up call for the Jets, who seem eager to prove their offense isn't as bad as it looked.
"Now you've got film out there and people think ... I don't want to say 'pushover offense,' but one that can't put a lot of points on the board," tight end Dustin Keller said. "We've got to get rid of that thinking. We've got to go out, put points on the board and instill fear in defenses, and make them think, 'We have to go against the Jets?'"
Wide receiver Braylon Edwards says the offense is pressing, too anxious to strut its potential.
"Everyone says our offense is average and our defense is great, that if the defense can pitch shutouts, the Jets have a chance to go to the Super Bowl," he said. "For us, we take that to heart. We want to prove our offense is just as good as our defense.
"Every play, we're pressing. We're trying to make something happen so we get the fans excited, so we get the media excited, so we get ESPN talking about this offense, so we can take the pressure off our defense. We have to relax and calm down."
Sanchez never mentioned himself, but he noted that players spoke up in the meetings. He said there were "some great messages," with players owning up to their mistakes.
It must have been a really long meeting.
2hBy Ian O'Connor
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