- Associated Press - Thursday, December 9, 2010

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) - It’s a date.

New York Jets coach Rex Ryan said Thursday he planned to meet with Mark Sanchez later in the day _ one-on-one _ to discuss football and other things with the slumping quarterback.

“This isn’t a huge thing,” Ryan said, joking that they could share his favorite cuisine. “It’s a lunch date, so I can eat Mexican food with him.”

It’s actually a bit more than that. Ryan wanted to sit down with Sanchez to discuss the Jets’ next opponent, Miami (6-6), since the coach has familiarity with how Dolphins defensive coordinator Mike Nolan calls games from their days together on Baltimore’s staff.

Ryan will meet again with Sanchez next Thursday before the Jets (9-3) take on Pittsburgh to share some pointers about Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau’s scheme.

“I’ve gone against those two guys,” Ryan said. “I know those guys well. I’ve worked under Mike Nolan for a few years, so I know Mike well. I’ve gone against Dick LeBeau forever. I think I can maybe help (Sanchez) these two weeks.”

Ryan normally meets with Sanchez along with offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh every Friday. He’ll still do that, but wanted some rare one-on-one time with Sanchez, as well.

“If it can help a little bit, then great,” Ryan said. “Plus, we can just talk like he’s my son.”

After an impressive start to the season in which Sanchez threw no interceptions in his first five games, the quarterback has struggled lately. He has thrown at least one pick in every game since, including three Monday night in a 45-3 loss at New England.

Sanchez was not available to comment, but Schottenheimer liked the idea.

“Anything he can give him from that vantage point,” he said, “I’m all for.”

Ryan stepped in last year to create a color-coded wrist band to help Sanchez cut down on mistakes and manage in-game situations better. Ryan also began attending offensive meetings late in the season to try to help his rookie quarterback.

All that said, Ryan said he’s not concerned Sanchez needs a mental boost.

“No, he’s as messed up as I am,” Ryan said with a laugh. “He has plenty of confidence.”



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