Kellen Clemens and Mark Sanchez will do everything possible to win the job as the Jets' starting quarterback, with one notable exception: As competitive as they will be on the field, both will do everything possible to support one another during their duel for the No. 1 spot.
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Barring a dramatic change of heart from either player, this will be as respectful a competition as you could ever envision. This despite the fact that anger and disappointment occasionally bubble to the surface for Clemens, the presumptive starter before the Jets pulled off the blockbuster draft-day trade for Sanchez.
Call it Clemens' version of paying it forward, a lesson learned from former teammate Chad Pennington.
This says a lot about Kellen's character. It also shows that Chad Pennington's advice went beyond play on the field. It constituted conducting oneself in the locker room and around teammates. This kind of selflessness shows incredible leadership, and there does not seem to be much doubt it is genuine.
It will help Clemens stay in the league for a while. Teams covet veterans who do not mind taking young players under their wing. Look at Ken Dorsey, a player with very limited physical ability. The Browns kept him for years because they loved the way he would serve as a secondary coach for their young quarterbacks. Clemens is literally ten times the player Dorsey is.