If any Jets player has an idea of what Tim Tebow is going through right now it's his chief adversary — and ally — Mark Sanchez.
While the Tebow bashing is shifting some of the negative attention from Sanchez's dismal performance as starting quarterback so far this season — it was less than a year ago that Sanchez went through the same kind of talent assassination by "anonymous" New York Jets teammates.
Instead of wearing his feelings about the turmoil in the Jets locker room on his sleeve Wednesday, Sanchez wore it right across chest.
After practice, Sanchez stood in front of his locker wearing a T-shirt with the words "We Will Persist" written over a tiny Jets logo. He also verbally expressed his thoughts on the unnamed sources who ripped his backup quarterback.
"I feel for Tim. That sucks ... It's not professional," said Sanchez. "It can't feel good, but at the same time I've been there. If anyone knows what it feels like, it's me. He's mentally tough enough to handle that."
Sanchez said he hadn't had a chance to talk with Tebow about the anonymous ambush by some of his teammates but he "was willing to talk to" him about it.
But Sanchez isn't letting the quotes ripping Tebow be viewed as some kind of support for himself.
"I don't think it's a backhanded compliment," said the starting quarterback. "I think guys know that I'm the starter. That's nothing new. But at the same time you don't have to go overboard and blast the guy, he works his butt off. Tim is doing his best every time he gets in there."
Sanchez echoed head coach Rex Ryan's condemnation of the team's "cowardly" anonymous critics — the same kind that dogged Sanchez last season.
"Nobody put their name on it. I said it was a cowardly thing last year, said I don't think it's professional, and my feelings haven't really changed," said Sanchez. "Whether it's me or anyone else, it's just not cool."
Sanchez might be onto something with his T-shirt's message. Several Jets players have already spoken out against the phantom Tebow-bashers.
Linebacker Bryan Thomas called the unnamed sources," disgusting," adding, "That hurts you feelings as a man. That's my teammate."
Whether or not the two sides of the Tebow debate can ever shake hands on the quarterback's skill is one thing. But a victory for the 3-6 team might help end the Wildcat war in the locker room.
"We've just got to go win a damn game," said Sanchez, "and this whole thing turns."