The question posed to Rex Ryan this afternoon was if, heading into the final preseason game at Philadelphia on Thursday night, Kellen Clemens is on the bubble.
Said Rex: “I would say he’s got a pretty strong chance of making this team.”
Said Kellen: “Score! It’s a heck of a lot better than it could’ve been.”
Many who’ve tried to handicap the Jets’ quarterback depth chart behind starter Mark Sanchez thought Clemens would be moving on, if only because, as the fifth-year man acknowledged, “I think I’m a little more expensive than Kevin [O’Connell] is.”
KC channeled Yogi Berra on whether he’ll be on the Jets’ 53-man roster this season. “It certainly isn’t over till it’s over,” he said. “I think history has proven that.”
But he’s rolled with the punches and come off the deck in the first week up at Cortland to make a case that he still should be wearing the green and white.
“My approach has been pretty consistent. I didn’t get a chance to compete for the No. 2 job,” he said. “That’s one of those areas I was a little frustrated by earlier in camp. You’ve got to put your head down and push through it.”
He knows he hasn’t put up any big numbers in his preseason opportunities. He didn’t play against Washington and in the first two games his six drives resulted in three field goal attempts, two punts and a Joe McKnight lost fumble at Carolina. But he also knows what the practice grades say.
“Statistically, I haven’t blown anything away. My percentage is good, yards aren’t real high, I haven’t thrown a touchdown,” he said. “But from how I’ve graded out with the coaches, it’s been my best preseason ever”
Clemens will get to show a little more of his progress from that frustration at learning Mark Brunell, signed the week before camp started, was the No. 2. As Ryan said about his quarterback rotation for the Eagles game:
“Mark [Sanchez] will be the only one who doesn’t play. I anticipate us playing the other three, Brunell, Clemens and O’Connell.” In that order? “Probably … OK, since I mentioned them that way, let’s do it that way.”
Is this a critical game for Clemens then to survive final cuts, likely to be announced Saturday?
“I wouldn’t put it in the critical stage,” Ryan said, adding of others on the now 75-man roster, “Some of them are on life support.”
Ryan said of Brunell, who is thus in line to get the start against the Jets, “This is his best week so far in practice. I think he’s catching up to the playbook. He’s throwing it well this week.” But Rex added about the second offense, “I think we’d all feel a little better if we moved the ball.” Brunell’s eight series have ended in six punts (five three-and-outs) and two lost fumbles.
The coach had no updates on any Jets interest in free agent LB Adalius Thomas. “We need to play this game and find out exactly how we have the roster set up,” he said. “Really, we need to give these guys a good look, a good, hard look.”
Calvin Pace, who broke his foot when it appeared that Redskins RT Stephon Heyer landed on it during a third-quarter pass rush Friday night, is scheduled to have surgery on the foot in Charlotte, N.C., at 5 p.m. today.
Ryan gave an injury report, even though his first injury report of the season isn’t required by the league until next Wednesday. Did not practice: T Damien Woody (lower back), S Brodney Pool (ankle), LB Kenwin Cummings (shoulder), G Charlie Tanner (knee) and S Donovan Warren (head). DE Shaun Ellis and LB Josh Mauga were limited.
Tags: Kellen Clemens, Mark Brunell, Mark Sanchez, Rex Ryan
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