Jets’ Ryan shows support for Sanchez

New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan threw his weight behind Mark Sanchez Tuesday.

One day after the Jets introduced Tim Tebow as the team’s backup quarterback, Ryan expressed his support for Sanchez, saying the quarterback would have received a contract extension regardless of who the team acquired.

"We’re hitching our wagon to Mark," Ryan said at the NFL owners meetings in Palm Beach, Fla.

Ryan remained adamant, saying the team "absolutely" was going to give Sanchez a three-year extension even if it already had traded for Tebow or signed four-time MVP Peyton Manning, adding the plan had been in place since the NFL scouting combine in February.

Sanchez agreed to the extension earlier this month.

Tebow’s arrival in New York, meanwhile, immediately placed new pressure on Sanchez, who has had Mark Brunell serving as his backup for the past two seasons. The 41-year-old Brunell never posed a threat to take Sanchez’s starting job.

But Ryan expects Sanchez will be able to handle Tebowmania.

"I don’t think anything is too much for Mark," he said.

Neither Sanchez nor Tebow should have to worry about third-string quarterback Greg McElroy, who Ryan said is "still in (the) doghouse" following his locker room comments last month.

The second-year quarterback out of Alabama called some of his teammates "selfish individuals" and that "people within our locker room didn’t care whether we won or lost as long as they got theirs."