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Sanchez sharp in Jets scrimmage

Posted by Tom Curran on August 6, 2009 9:23 PM ET

Honestly, comparing quarterbacks in a scrimmage in which they can't be tackled is a little like judging hitters based on how far they drive batting practice softballs.

That said, Jets rookie Mark Sanchez looked very efficient Thursday night in the Jets "Green vs. White" scrimmage at SUNY-Cortland.

Better than veteran Kellen Clemens? On this night, yes.

Sanchez, the fifth overall pick, first worked with the second-team offense, going up against the second-team defense. Three of his first four passes were dropped on that drive, but later in the practice, after going three-and-out with the first-team offense, Sanchez caught fire, working with the second and leading a nice no-huddle drive down the field.

He finished the practice completing nine of 15 passes for 70 yards.

Clemens, who really didn't have many guys come free while he was in there, completed five of seven for 26 yards.

Approached after practice, Jets owner Woody Johnson enthusiastically asked, "Whadja think?"

Knowing the gajillionaire owner really coveted the opinion of the schlubby sportswriter, I paused and said, "I think he looked pretty crisp."

And I'm sure Mr. Johnson will sleep well tonight.

Sanchez, meanwhile, stuck to the eager beaver script from which he's been reading since getting drafted.

"We had like an hour just to relax. We had a team meal. I couldn't eat anything," he said. "I had like a bite of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. It was like game day, I was in game mode, I put in the iPod and just laid down for a little bit and came out ready to work and was really on today, I felt great. . . . This is the coolest thing that can ever happen. It's pretty special. At the end of the day, you lay your head down at night and [you're] an NFL quarterback, that's all you ever wanted to be."

Clemens, meanwhile was a bit more . . . taciturn (look it up) about the unfolding competition.

"It's my good fortune being a veteran, this is my third quarterback competition in four years," he explained. "The first couple years, I was always watching the other guy, 'What's he doing? Well, now I gotta one-up him.' But now [while] I wish Mark all the success when he's out there and I'm sure he does the same for me, ultimately I want to perform well for my teammates and my coaches. The focus for me is more on myself than on what he's doing. Obviously, I support him but I'm not always counting and keeping score."

But for those who may be . . . +1 Sanchez.

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I wonder who dropped those passes on the first drive ? :-k

According to Tom, who was in attendance, Britt Davis, the guy whose been standing out, dropped a ton of balls in the scrimmage. Looks like another Practice Superstar/Gametime Dud.

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Mixed feelings on the scrimmage. And Tom's report. What happened to the sarcasm, the rapier wit, the nonsensical musings? They got to you Tom, didn't they. The JN mafia. The "Tom is biased" social club. It's hard to see the hardened crack.

On a lighter note--Snachez looks like a QB! Yea!

Then, of course, Britt turns out to catch like a biznitch. Boo!

But Shonn Green runs like one of Marques Murrell's relatives! Yeah!

But Vernon Goal-less plays like he's been snorting Ambien. Boo!

Still, the Dee looks like its jellin' like a felon (if the felon is Ray Lewis). Yea!

But nobody at the scrimmage could see it. Boo!

After all is said and done, I'm cautiously pessimistic about this season. But glad that I can still follow the trials and tribulations of my Jets through the watchful and now unbiased eye of Tom "I used to be a rebel but now I just want everyone to like me" Shane. Thank you Tom. And all kidding aside, excellent job reporting from your old Alma Mater.

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Thanks for the kind words, everybody.

I was just glad to see Sanchez play well tonight--MUCH better than I suspected he would. He may just be one of those players who looks like garbage in shorts and shells, but when the lights come on he just knows how to play the game.

Still, there's miles of road left to travel before we anoint him an NFL starter. Yes, he "won" tonight's scrimmage pretty handily, but both he and the offense have a lot of work to do. Like slats said, it will be interesting to see how Clemens responds in the upcoming practices. Hopefully, he doesn't go into a shell and concede the job to Sanchez.

As for the wideout situation, yes, they need a stud, imo. But, they may actually need a tight end even more. It has become a lost cause to throw it to Jack Simmons and J'Nathan Bullock and Kareem Brown, who all suck. The new guy, Brock, looks like he should be playing small forward in the NBDL (very long and lean), and it was not readily apparent how his game complements Keller's, if at all.

If I was making a wish list for this Jets team right now, it would be to add a Marvin Harrison and a guy like Sean Ryan to work in the pits at TE. Forget Matt Jones already--the Jets need an established pass catcher and not a guy with maturity issues and questionable feel for the game. They already have a few of those.

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I don't see why anybody is surprised about Sanchez. He probably doesn't have a complete grasp of the offense. That seems obvious and it's likely the reason that Clemens has been getting the majority of first team reps. In the scrimmage they can put together a package he can handle, while they try throwing all kinds of **** at him in the regular practice. Especially when they aren't even running 11 on 11s.

PS: Thanks Tom. Great job!

Edited by #27TheDominator
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