Mark Sanchez: Headset issues in loss

Updated: January 24, 2011, 9:11 PM ET
By Jane McManus | ESPNNewYork.com

PITTSBURGH -- Quarterback Mark Sanchez had problems communicating with the New York Jets' coaching staff Sunday night because the headset he was wearing malfunctioned during a 24-19 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

"It never really happened for that long of a time," Sanchez said. "We had to use a walkie-talkie at one point and [offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer] was just yelling calls in at one point. It was just another challenge, and we almost overcame it."

The primary headset used to communicate with the quarterback went out after the first possession, and the backup unit stopped functioning in the fourth quarter as the Jets were attempting to convert on a first-and-goal from the Steelers' 2 with roughly eight minutes left in the game and down 24-10.

Sanchez had to run over to the sideline to talk to Schottenheimer. He also needed to yell out the calls to others on the offense as the Steelers fans at Heinz Field roared over the confusion.

"The problem was the headset kept going out multiple times during the game," Sanchez said, "so I had to run over and get a couple calls, piece together some calls on the headset that came in broken up. It was one of those things we were fighting through. I was proud of our guys for trying to piece it together."

Jets tight end Dustin Keller said the offense had to rush a few times because of the time it took to get the calls communicated. On that goal-line series when the problems were magnified, the Jets turned the ball over on downs after failing to gain 2 yards in four tries.

Jets guard Brandon Moore said on Monday that he did not know about the headset malfunction as the game was going on. "After the game, [Sanchez] said he was having difficulty," Moore said. "He said he mentioned it to the ref and he was accomodated. I don't know what he did, but he was accomodated after that. Those things do come up."

"It was really too bad because we had opportunities," Sanchez said. "And I came up short and we did too."

"It's your team's responsibility about the headphones. Again, that's -- we're not -- that's not why we lost the game," Jets coach Rex Ryan said during his Monday afternoon press conference. "You know, it's something that happened, but that's not why we lost the game. You know, I dont know what else to say about that."

Jane McManus is a columnist and reporter for ESPNNewYork.com. Ian Begley contributed to this report.

Jane McManus has covered New York sports since 1998 and began covering football just before Brett Favre's stint with the Jets. Her work has appeared in Newsday, USA Today, The Journal News and The New York Times. Follow Jane on Twitter.

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