Mark Sanchez and JaMarcus Russell are at two different points in their careers, but one thing they have in common is the fact that they both need help improving and have sought out one of the biggest overachievers in league history to help them.
USA Today is reporting both Sanchez and JaMarcus Russell are in California get the tutoring services of former NFL quarterback Jeff Garcia.
Three days a week for the past several weeks, the two have done classroom and field work with Garcia. Sanchez who has a new offensive coordinator in Marty Mornhinweg is trying to avoid becoming a career backup while learning the west coast offense that Garcia mastered.
“He’s doing an excellent job — the progress Mark has made over the past three weeks is definitely very positive,” Garcia told USA TODAY Sports. “It shows Mark is committed to bettering himself and getting himself more mentally prepared.
“The most important thing for Mark is to take that tough season last year as a learning experience from the standpoint of how he can get better and give his team the best chance to win. That has to be done in terms of being confident in his ability to run this system and speak the language correctly.
“So now when he takes the field in OTAs, he’ll be in that much more comfortable of a place,” Garcia added.
“Marty and I communicated a few weeks ago (about) what he’d like to introduce to Mark,” Garcia said. “Mark is definitely getting more comfortable speaking the West Coast terminology. He had a brief glimpse of the West Coast system at USC.
Russell on the other hand is trying to get back on the field, and avoid being a bust comparable to the likes of Ryan Leaf. The #1 pick in the 2007 NFL Draft, Russell was 7-18 as a starter, received a guaranteed $39 million, and is the poster boy for why the league changed how draft picks are paid now.
“The plan right now is to continue to prepare him for another month and put together a pro day where teams can come and see JaMarcus,” Garcia said. “Granted his back is against the wall. This is a situation where if he doesn’t do it now, it may never happen.
“But if you look at where he was two months ago to where he is today, he’s come a long way in demanding more out of himself than he ever did.”