At the ESPN Wide World of Sports, where Holmes spends his offseasons with longtime trainer Tom Shaw, the quarterback and the receiver are spending the week training and throwing together along with Jets teammates Dustin Keller and Patrick Turner. Running back Joe McKnight may join the group later in the week.
Holmes extended the invite to Sanchez and his teammates, Shaw said by phone tonight -- a positive step toward rebuilding offensive chemistry after a disappointing 8-8 season marked by locker-room division. Teammates and coaches openly acknowledged a rift between Sanchez and Holmes last season, but the two met earlier this offseason in Florida and are moving forward on a positive note.
"I know for a fact Santonio Holmes and Mark Sanchez are close," Shaw said.
Today's workout was for five hours, on the long side because Sanchez led a throwing session at the end. The Jets don't have their new playbooks from new offensive coordinator Tony Sparano yet, but Shaw said Sanchez was calling out routes and plays from his own notes -- possibly those notes he he took when he met with former Dolphins quarterback Chad Pennington to learn Sparano's system.
"Mark was in charge, everyone was listening to his instructions," Shaw said. "Guys from other teams, too. (Titans running back) Chris Johnson, Larry Taylor, who used to be with the Jets. Once we finished the workout for the day, Sanchez took over. He was in charge of the whole offensive part. He is working hard, and he's doing everything he can to get better."
Shaw has a contingent of players from across the NFL who train with him, and the Jets offensive players will take advantage. Sanchez and his receivers will next throw against defenders including Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor and Cardinals cornerback William Gay, starting with one-on-one drills tomorrow and seven-on-seven work Thursday.
Shaw was impressed with Sanchez on and off the field. After the workout, Sanchez signed autographs for the crowd of about 400, mainly high school athletes from across the country who are spending their spring break training together in Florida.
"He was like a rock star," Shaw said of Sanchez. "He's so young, but he's handling it so well. I know people say he needs to do a better job, and he does, but he's just a young kid. We went to a wing house to eat, and you realize how he's growing, and he's still just a kid.
Shaw added: "I'm pretty impressed with Sanchez, I really am. I think he's someone the Jets are lucky to have."
The week in Orlando is also prime bonding time for the teammates, who will venture to Disney World and Universal Studios -- after they take advantage of time on the football field together.
Keller tweeted this afternoon at a group of players including Sanchez and Holmes, "we got that good work in today!!"