NEW YORK (WFAN) — The Jets and Giants are like apples and oranges, cats and dogs — green and blue.
But Jets center Nick Mangold and Giants safety Antrel Rolle found some common ground Tuesday morning: Mark Sanchez.
Gang Green’s quarterback was already under the microscrope after last season’s regression and 8-8 finish. With backup Tim Tebow in the mix and New York’s offense sputtering, speculation about Sanchez’s starting job has once again hit the back pages.
“He’s doing as best as he can,” Mangold told WFAN’s Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton. “When he first came in as a rookie he handled (the pressure) very well, and he’s continued to be able to put that on his shoulders. It’s tough, though. When you don’t get protection — how do you throw the ball if you’re not getting protection?
“So a lot of the blame goes to him, but we try to reinforce, ‘Hey, it’s not your fault. We’ve got to help you out and we’ve gotta get better.’ ”
Rolle, who was with Mangold to promote the launch of Chase Bank’s new Giants and Jets debit cards, admitted that yeah, he’s been paying attention to the drama too.
“That’s what you take as a quarterback,” Rolle said of Sanchez. “If you win, it’s on you. If you lose, it’s on you. That’s just how this league works.”
Many have pointed to Sunday’s brutal 34-0 loss as a reason to start Tebow. Sanchez, whose receiving corps has been decimated by injuries, hasn’t completed 50 percent or more of his passes in three straight games.
But the wildcat package hasn’t performed to expectations either. Even Rolle agreed that he’d love to face Tebow, considering this season’s minimal gains.
“Absolutely,” said the Giants’ outspoken safety.
Mangold said everything has been “great on paper” and solid in practice. Just not on Sundays.
“We have to execute,” he said. “When we don’t do that, it doesn’t matter what we practice.”
His message to Jets fans?
“It’s one game, it’s a bump in the road,” said Mangold. “We’re gonna keep getting back to work and we’re gonna right the ship. All is not lost.”
Case in point: New York’s embarrassing 45-3 loss to the Patriots in 2010. They’d bounce back from the Week 13 massacre — and all that came with it in the papers and on talk radio — to eventually make the AFC Championship game.
“The sky was falling then too,” said Mangold. “We ended up going to the playoffs and doing very well.”
Meanwhile, the Giants have some issues of their own after Sunday night’s loss to the Eagles, which dropped their NFC East record to 0-2.
“We understand there’s a lot of work to be done,” Rolle said. “We understand there’s a lot of work to be done and more importantly, just trying to be a better team on a more consistent basis.”
Do you think some of the heat should come off Sanchez? Be heard in the comments below…