New York Jets QB Kellen Clemens Gets Nod For First Preseason Game But It’s Rookie QB Mark Sanchez Who Shines

Yesterday, New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan named veteran quarterback Kellen Clemens the August 14th starter for the team’s first preseason match up against the St. Louis Rams. A move that emphasizes just how big a chance coach Ryan is giving Clemens to grab the starting spot.

Especially considering how good rookie Mark Sanchez is reportedly looking after his first full practice with the first team.

While there have been some positive reports out of Jets training camp about Kellen Clemens performance, the bulk of the news has been about the number of interceptions he’s tossed already. Unfortunately, the news about Clemens doesn’t seem to ever really get better.

Clemens hit four of 12 passes with one interception and two near interceptions in yesterdays morning workout. That wasn’t even against the first team defense.

Meanwhile, Sanchez hit 10 of 19 passes with two touchdowns and one interception, including a 40-yard touchdown to wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery, beating Darrelle Revis in the process.  Sanchez also had a length-of-the-field two-minute drill with a 20-yard touchdown to Chansi Stuckey on a slant pattern.

This is exactly the kind of thing Jets fans have been waiting to hear about their new QB savior.

Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer told the team Friday night that Clemens and Sanchez would start alternating practice with the first team starting with yesterday’s Saturday morning session. Sounds to me like Sanchez did not disappoint.

I’m happy to see him grab a hold of the reins and exert himself as the leader in the offense. He certainly seems to have impressed his coach and team mates.

"I think he has (taken a step forward the past two practices), I think he’s starting to get the offense down. He’s confident. He’s moving around and he’s not moving around like a deer in head lights. He’s poised. He can make all the throws. He’s taking a step forward."

No doubt he caught Darrelle Revis’s attention after getting beat for a TD pass to open the morning practice.

"I was a little upset, I had to get him back. I really had two interceptions (Revis picked off another pass in the end zone but it was ruled out of bounds). … I think he’s looking good. He has a lot of poise. He’s relaxed. He was moving the offense down the field very well. He was making plays. He was making nice throws, smart throws."

All of this adds up to very exciting news. Mark Sanchez is taking the steps he needs to in order to get that starting spot and I can’t ask to much more.

I maintain we will continue to see great things as camp progresses. I am absolutely dying for that first chance to see him hit the field and see how he performs.

I have a feeling he won’t disappoint.


Xander Diaz is Editor-In-Chief at

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