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Sanchez Or Clemens, Who Should Start For The New York Jets In 2009?

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One of the hottest topics coming out of New York Jets camp these days is the question of who should start at quarterback in 2009. Will it be USC, hot shot Mark Sanchez or tried and not so true veteran Kellen Clemens?

Hotly contested in blogs and news media, opinions about the current QB vacancy in NY vary from sublime to fanatical. There is certainly no lack of strong opinions on the subject.

For me the answer to this question is very easy. Mark Sanchez all the way.

I realize Kellen Clemens has a few advantages over Sanchez. He’s played as the starter in an actual professional football game, he’s been under Brian Schottenheimer’s system for some years now and, unlike Sanchez, Kellen had the benefit of a full season under the tutelage of a bona-fide NFL, super star, future HOF QB in Brett Favre.

Love him or hate him, no way you can deny Brett had a ton of NFL experience to pass on. I’ll even give Kellen credit for being better than his numbers play out because I firmly believe it was a crappy O-line that contributed heavily to Clemens so-so numbers.

My biggest problem with Kellen is that he couldn’t beat out a guy we gladly ran out of town. To now exalt him to ‘face of the franchise‘ status simply makes no sense to me. In fact, I am so opposed to starting Clemens that I recently wrote about how much better putting Michael Vick in the role of back up would be for the team versus having Clemens.

Mark Sanchez comes into the picture with a lot less in many ways. He has little experience as a starter in college and while he played in college football’s only ‘pro’ style system he has a lot yet to learn about running a NFL caliber offense. He does have a decent arm, a good release and is pretty quick on his feet.

A smarter man than me might say the thing to do is start Clemens and ease Sanchez in by October/November, but my decision has been swayed by other factors.

I have felt that the Jets have been mired in mediocrity for almost as long as I could remember. Sure there have been some memorable moments and highlights along the way but in my life time it’s mainly been about the ’same old Jets’.

Mark Sanchez (and in large part Rex Ryan as well) represents a new dawn for my Jets. He represents hope for a better tomorrow. I see this young man I believe he can win. Sanchez also wins me over with a bit of a bias….I’m a 1st generation Dominican American myself. So for all of you debating if the Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, Cubans, etc. in the New York/ New Jersey area will be able to relate with Sanchez…I don’t think this will be an issue.

I’m sure my piers will have far better, solid football reasoning for selecting young Mark Sanchez, should they make him their pick, but for me a lot of my decision is purely based on my heart and desire.

I guess in the end I’m just another hopeful Jets fan clinging on to hope for a better tomorrow.


Xander Diaz is Editor-In-Chief at