RENTON — Coach Pete Carroll might not have agreed with Mark Sanchez’s decision to leave USC to enter the NFL in 2009, but the Seahawks coach said it wasn’t for the reason Jets coach Rex Ryan cited Wednesday during his weekly news conference in New York.
“I did not blame Pete Carroll one bit,” Ryan said, according to the New York Daily News. “If I had that young man as my quarterback, I’d say whatever it took to get the guy to stay with me. Like, ‘Oh you’re not ready son. As far as you know you’re not ready to play.’
“Deep down he knew he was ready.”
Not so, said Carroll.
“I told Mark exactly what I would have told my son,” Carroll said. “Exactly.”
Sanchez had spent one full season as USC’s starting quarterback and had a year of eligibility remaining when he decided to enter the draft. Carroll was very direct in his advice to Sanchez before the decision was made.
“I just told him what I knew was the truth,” Carroll said. “He could have been better prepared if we’d have had him for another year. And I think it would have served him even better.”
Sanchez was chosen No. 5 overall by the Jets, who traded up to acquire the pick from the Browns. Sanchez became the starter immediately, reaching the AFC Championship Game in Sanchez’s first season, and Carroll did nothing but applaud.
“There was nobody in the world that was more thrilled than me when he did well, in his first year,” Carroll said. “I thought they did a great job. ... Mark and I get along great. I love what he’s doing, and follow him every week, and it will be really fun playing against him this week.”
The Jets got back to the AFC Championship Game in Sanchez’s second season, but failed to make the playoffs last season. They are 3-5 heading into Sunday’s game, and Sanchez ranks No. 30 in quarterback rating.
Seattle activated cornerback Walter Thurmond Wednesday, completing his comeback after suffering a fracture of his left fibula twice in seven months. Thurmond was a fourth-round draft choice out of Oregon in 2010, chosen as he was coming off a serious knee injury he suffered early in his senior season.
Thurmond began 2011 as a nickel cornerback and started two games before he suffered a broken leg in the first half of Seattle’s game at Cleveland in Week 7. He reinjured that leg in March, and had to start his rehabilitation all over.
Thurmond began the regular season on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list, which meant he did not count against Seattle’s 53-man roster limit, but he would miss at least the first six games.
He takes the spot on the 53-man roster that opened up when the Seahawks waived Charly Martin on Tuesday. Martin was re-signed to the team’s practice squad after he cleared waivers.
• DT Red Bryant (foot), S Kam Chancellor (quadriceps) and RB Marshawn Lynch (wrist/back) sat out Wednesday’s practice.
• G James Carpenter and LB K.J. Wright sat out Wednesday’s practice after being diagnosed with concussions. They will be tested again to see if they can return to practice in a limited extent Thursday.
• DT Jason Jones (ankle) practiced Wednesday, but is limited. He has missed the past two games because of injury, but is expected to play this week so long as he doesn’t suffer a setback.