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News » Jets' Clemens: I expect to start

Jets' Clemens: I expect to start

Jets' Clemens: I expect to start
FLORHAM PARK ? Tight end Dustin Keller stood at the back of the media horde in front of Kellen Clemens on Thursday, casually brushing his teeth while hoping to get Clemens' attention.

Clemens may have noticed Keller, but he didn't acknowledge his teammate while reporters fired questions. So give the fourth-year quarterback high marks for focus and concentration.

His confidence is still pretty high, too. Clemens made it clear he isn't conceding anything in the Jets' upcoming quarterback derby, even though the landscape has shifted greatly in the last two weeks, since the Jets selected Southern California's Mark Sanchez with the fifth overall pick.

"My expectations haven't changed since the draft," Clemens said, meeting the media for the first time since Sanchez was drafted. "I expect to be under center opening day in Houston. Is it long term? What is long term in the NFL?"

Certainly not the Jets' quarterback situation in recent years. Chad Pennington lost his starting job to Clemens midway through the 2007 season, and was released after the Jets traded for 2008 starter Brett Favre in August. Once Favre "retired" in February, the stage seemed set for a Clemens-Brett Ratliff duel for the job. But Ratliff was dealt to Cleveland in the trade that made it possible for the Jets to get Sanchez.

With Sanchez obviously poised to be the quarterback of the future, Clemens may have to be clearly better than the rookie to win the job in 2009, especially considering that Rex Ryan has made it clear he believes rookie signal-callers can win in the NFL.

"There's some weight that goes along with being the No. 5 pick," Clemens admitted. "Everybody knows that. Again, I go back to what Coach [Ryan] said, and I think he's said it publicly. It's an open competition and the best player is going to play. Regardless of all the other business-side of things, the best player is going to play. That's all I'm hoping for."

Last week Ryan said he already has an "opinion" on how the competition will play out.

"He's got an idea on who he thinks is going to start," Clemens said in response. "I don't know who that is. I hope it's me."

Safety Kerry Rhodes was asked if he thought Sanchez has the edge entering the competition.

"Whenever you take a guy that high and you give up that much stuff for him, he's going to be held in high regard," Rhodes said. "I'm sure he's going to get every opportunity to win the job, but I'm sure that Kellen is going to come out and fight just as hard. You've seen guys like that [highly touted rookie quarterbacks] not play right away and you've seen some play right away. You never know."

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: May 10, 2009

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Josh Cribbs Name: Josh Cribbs
Position: WR
Age: 25
Experience: 4 years
College: Kent State
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