New York Jets’ Mark Sanchez addresses USC football team before practice


Mark Sanchez went through spring practice three times at USC.

That was from 2006 to 2008, three years before the Trojans adopted their current routine of working out at 7:25 a.m., a schedule that probably also will be implemented this fall.

So after watching USC practice Thursday, the New York Jets quarterback was asked whether he would have liked early-morning practices when he was in college.

“I don’t know,” he said. “That’s early. I like to get a little lunch, maybe a nap, and then get to practice.”


Sanchez, who in two NFL seasons has twice helped push the Jets to within a victory of the Super Bowl, was invited by Coach Lane Kiffin to address the Trojans before they took the field.

Sanchez left USC after only one season as a starter and with a year of eligibility remaining. But he did so having earned a degree.

Sanchez encouraged an auditorium full of players to graduate and to cherish their time at USC, saying afterward that it was “a short, two-minute deal. They probably fell asleep halfway through it.”

But several players said Sanchez’s words resonated.

Junior quarterback Matt Barkley, who played at Santa Ana Mater Dei, grew up watching former Orange County standouts Carson Palmer, Matt Leinart and Sanchez star for the Trojans.

“It was good to hear from him, from a guy who’s in the NFL and what he has to say,” said Barkley, who will be eligible for the NFL draft after next season.

Freshman quarterback Cody Kessler wears jersey No. 6, the same number Sanchez wore at USC and now wears with the Jets. Kessler welcomed the on-field feedback after each play.

“He pointed at me and he’s like, ‘Hey, wear my number proud,’ ” Kessler said.

After practice, Sanchez went through a throwing session with former Trojans receivers Keary Colbert, Patrick Turner and Damian Williams.

Sanchez and Leinart also took part in a panel discussion at USC on Thursday night titled, “For the Good of the Game: The NFL at a Crossroads.” Other panelists included agent Leigh Steinberg and former NFL players Willie Gault, Toi Cook and Shelby Jordan.

The program started late because Sanchez, Steinberg and Gault got stuck in an elevator for 50 minutes.

“At first I thought it was kind of a joke — ‘Oh, in 10 minutes we’ll be out,’ ” Sanchez said of the elevator ordeal. “We were killing time. I went over the email … about the topics we were going to go over.


“Once we got out there [for the panel discussion] it turned out great. … It was a great day.”

Tyler weighs in

Tailback Marc Tyler completed a full practice for the first time since suffering a hamstring injury in the first practice of the spring two weeks ago.

But Tyler, a fifth-year senior, acknowledged that he is too heavy.

Asked about his weight, he said, “Shoot, that’s the only problem right now.”

Tyler said he weighed about 232 pounds, 15 more than he weighed when he emerged as a starter during a breakout 2010 season.

Tyler had initially blamed inadequate stretching for his injury. But after meeting with running backs coach Kennedy Pola, he said he regretted comments that were called into question by Kiffin.

Tyler said his weight was the result of “the Christmas break, having no bowl game; that was a long break,” which caused him to give in to fast-food urges.

“By the summer and the [2011] season I want to be probably about the same [weight] as last year,” he said.


Quick hits

Offensive lineman Jeremy Galten was forced to sit out after suffering a knee injury. The junior college transfer was scheduled to have X-rays, Kiffin said…. Defensive lineman Armond Armstead, who was cleared last week to run and lift weights, was absent for the second consecutive practice. Kiffin said Armstead was working with academic staff to ensure that he was able to make up for class time missed while he was hospitalized last month…. Former USC players Lawrence Jackson and Alex Holmes also attended practice.