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News » New York Jets Inside Slant 2009-04-03


New York Jets Inside Slant 2009-04-03


New York Jets Inside Slant 2009-04-03
Give Kellen Clemens credit. The Jets quarterback, entering his fourth year in the NFL, has retained his sense of humor despite dealing with rumors of a potential trade at the position for the second straight year.


"I'll see you in a week," Clemens said to reporters as he walked away Thursday, and then added with a smile, "hopefully."

Well, Clemens' worries lessened later in the day, when word came out that the Bears, and not the Jets, were the winners in the Jay Cutler Sweepstakes. Denver dealt the disgruntled quarterback to Chicago, which means that Clemens and Brett Ratliff once again are battling for the starting position with the Jets.

For now, at least, as Clemens well knows.

"You'd love to have that closure, but there will be something else," Clemens said. "We'll start all over with the draft.'Are they going to trade up for (USC's Mark) Sanchez or (Georgia's Matthew) Stafford? The Jets need a quarterback.' It's a never-ending cycle. You get rid of one distraction, and speculation, and another one replaces it. Hey, we're in New York."

Even if the Jets don't decide to trade up on April 25, they are believed to be enamored with Kansas State quarterback Josh Freeman, who figures to be available when the Jets make their first selection at No. 17 overall.

Still, it seems Clemens at least will get a real chance at securing the No. 1 job this season. It appeared he would have that opportunity a year ago, but the Jets' acquisition of Brett Favre on Aug. 6 changed all that and put Clemens on the bench for the rest of the season.

Even before Cutler was traded for Chicago, Clemens was doing his best to ignore the situation, even though he had admitted the previous week that wasn't quite possible.

"I try not to let it affect me right now and the preparation that I'm doing because the whole thing might blow over and (Cutler might) go somewhere else," Clemens said. "You don't want to lose these days of preparation worrying about hypotheticals."

Unlike Cutler, Clemens has tried to use the Jets' perceived dissatisfaction with their quarterback position as a motivational tool.

"It's motivating because, obviously, the organization is looking to upgrade their positions, as they should," the former Oregon standout said. "There's nothing wrong with that, but in my heart, I feel I'm a very good option for this football team. Anytime you hear rumors and you hear speculation, it motivates me to continue to prove they don't need to go outside at this position."

Safety Kerry Rhodes agrees.

After Cutler was traded to Chicago, Rhodes was asked by SportsNet New York if he believed the Jets could be a playoff team with Clemens or Ratliff under center.

"I really do," Rhodes said. "We've got confidence in these guys."

He indicated that judging Clemens on his eight starts for a 4-12 Jets' team in 2007 is "really unfair" and also talked up Ratliff, and not just for his 122.6 passer rating in the 2008 preseason.

"We believe in" Ratliff, Rhodes said. "Seeing him in practice every day is what I'm hyped about. I definitely believe in both of these guys."



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 3, 2009

Brandon Moore Name: Brandon Moore
#65
Position: G
Age: 28
Experience: 6 years
College: Illinois
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