Sanchez Earns the Start in Jets’ Next Preseason Matchup


August 16, 2009

Sanchez Earns the Start in Jets' Next Preseason Matchup Kellen Clemens got the nod for New York's first preseason game.

Now, it's Mark Sanchez's turn to show what he can do.

The rookie quarterback will start for the Jets when they take on the Ravens and their infamous defense on preseason Monday Night Football Aug. 24.

One of the league's best defenses? Check. Prime-time national television? Check. There couldn't be a better test to see if Sanchez is truly ready for the big time — without the added pressure of potentially padding the team's loss column.

"I have my work cut out for me," he told "That's why it wouldn't be right of me or anyone else to make this a make-or-break game."

First-year coach Rex Ryan was so impressed by Sanchez's performance against St. Louis on Friday — he went 3-for-4 with 88 yards — that he was willing to give the rookie the nod over Clemens.

"He actually performed just like I thought he would," Ryan told "He's cool, doesn't get rattled and just went in there and did a great job. He was part of the solution. He let his teammates work and, shoot, they drove it right down the field."

Ryan did indicate, however, that one start doesn't mean the job is Sanchez's for good. Instead, he plans to rotate between Sanchez and Clemens until he can come to a decision about who should start in the regular season.

Clemens played two series against the Rams and went 4-for-4 but was sacked once and lost a fumble. Both quarterbacks will play against Baltimore, but Ryan is unsure how he will divide playing time.

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