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Clemens Leads the QB Derby

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So says Dave Hutchinson.

Given his best -- and perhaps final -- chance to win the starting quarterback job with the Jets, Kellen Clemens has made quite a first impression on new coach Rex Ryan

For the second straight day, Clemens outgunned Brett Ratliff in their much-anticipated minicamp matchup. In the process, Clemens may be easing the Jets' concerns about uncertainty at the position heading into next Saturday's NFL Draft.

"I thought Clemens looked sharp today," Ryan said Friday in between practices at Florham Park. "I really liked how he took charge of that offense today. He really brought that unit out. The tempo that they had. They had a lot of spark to them. He made some good decisions. He showed poise. He had some pressure in his face.

"Now, like (safety) Jim Leonhard told me, 'Come on, Rex, one good hit. Let us rattle him a couple of times.' I said, 'I don't know, guys, he had your number today.'"

It is important to note this is only offseason practice, but perhaps the Jets needed a reminder of Kellen's potential. It was only three years ago the league lauded the selection of Clemens in the second round. Many said he had the ability to become a franchise quarterback. What exactly has changed since then? Is he officially a bust because of eight starts in which he had a patchwork offensive line, no running game, and a subpar defense? The guy has never been given a chance.

Expecting a quarterback with no experience to come right in and play the role of savior as the Jets did is unrealistic. Some are capable like Chad Pennington. Others like Eli Manning take their lumps right out of the gate and need time to learn the pro game.

There are plenty of reasons for the Jets to not take a quarterback next weekend. The best might be the team still has to find out what Clemens can do. The guy they drafted three years ago to guide the position has been waiting patiently and deserves his shot.