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Sanchez more likely week 1 starter than Stafford
Posted May. 04 at 12:05 AM
It's early, but the way things look right now, it appears Daunte Culpepper will be the week 1 starter at quarterback for the Lions. And although it's unclear who will start for the Jets between Mark Sanchez and Kellen Clemens, the guess here is that it's a little more likely to be Sanchez.
Culpepper opening as Detroit's starter was hinted at by general manager Martin Mayhew, although both Mayhew and head coach Jim Schwartz agreed that Stafford looked good at the team's just completed minicamp. Mayhew, for his part, doesn't sound like much of a believer in rookie quarterbacks starting right away.
"They get drafted early by teams that haven't been successful, and then they get rushed onto the field, which makes it tough to succeed," Mayhew told The Detroit News. "I think that's been a pattern if you look at a lot of these guys. I'll never forget Tim Couch (Cleveland's No. 1 overall pick in 1999): When they drafted him, they got Ty Detmer and (were going to) take their time and all that. And then Week 2, there he was starting."
Contrast that to Jets' head coach Rex Ryan, who recalled his situation in Baltimore last year, with rookie Joe Flacco. "When we had Flacco, I thought it was pretty obvious by the time we got out of [the organized team activities in the offseason] that by far and away he was our best quarterback," Ryan told Newsday. "Now, it was also obvious to me that wasn't the direction Baltimore wanted to go. It just so happened we had no choice but to end up making that decision. Up until last year, there was a stigma that you don't win with a rookie quarterback. I think we proved that wrong." Baltimore, recall, was forced to go with Flacco when Kyle Boller injured his shoulder and Troy Smith got sick on the eve of the season.
The Jets aren't saying who has the edge; offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer says Clemens is clearly ahead in his knowledge of the offense (which makes sense), but was impressed by Sanchez' intelligence and performance during the minicamp.
What's interesting is another quote from the weekend by Ryan, which seems to strongly favor Sanchez.
"I got an opinion on how it’s going to go," said Ryan. "But I’m not going to share it with you. I’d be lying if I said I had no idea how it’s going to work out. I assume it’s going to work out a certain way, but you have to earn the job.”
Given that Ryan made it clear after the draft that he knew he wanted to draft Sanchez after the first time the team worked him out, is there really any mystery which quarterback he's favoring here?
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