Mark Sanchez may have asserted himself as the favorite to start at quarterback in last night's scrimmage.
Fortunately for the Jets, and not so much for Kellen Clemens, Sanchez gave a Southern Cal-like performance in the annual Green and White game at SUNY-Cortland. In an offense-versus-defense scrimmage that included full contact (the quarterbacks were off limits), the Jets' ballyhooed rookie took a semi-significant step in the quarterback competition.
Sanchez, sharing first-team work with Clemens, completed nine of 17 passes for 70 yards - and four of the incompletions were drops. Somewhat surprisingly, the coaches let him run a methodical no-huddle offense - not a hurry-up - and he handled it reasonably well for a rookie.
The Jets' No. 1 pick outplayed Clemens (5-for-7, 26 yards), intensifying the QB battle on the one-year anniversary of the Brett Favre trade. On this night, they didn't solidify the position like they did by acquiring Favre, but Sanchez's performance caused a buzz within the organization.
I'm starting to come around on the idea of Sanchez being the starting quarterback. At first, I was worried. Sanchez has a lot of pressure on him. You could wonder whether so few college starts prepared him for the big transition to the NFL game right off the bat. If he's showing this kind of poise and enough mastery of the offense to go no huddle at this early point, the best way to go might be to get the rookie into the lineup as soon as possible so he can get experience.