Mark Sanchez's improving performance is starting to pay off. (JetsInsider.com Photo)
Rookie QB Mark Sanchez opened this morning's practice at Jets camp, taking his snaps exclusively with the starting offense.
The move comes on the heels of Sanchez's impressive showing in Thursday night's Green and White scrimmage. Although the move is by no means his coronation as the starter, as Rex Ryan named Kellen Clemens the starter on Friday against the Rams, the rookie has shown progress his first 9 days of camp that has impressed the head coach..
“He is starting to really get the offense down,” said Ryan. “He’s confident, he’s always been confident. He’s moving around. He’s not moving around like a deer in headlights like most rookies have when they see all the stuff that our defense is throwing at them. He’s poised and obviously he has all the skills to throw the ball. He can throw the ball. I think he is confident in that, (in his) offensive line and the receivers we have. So now it is just a matter of getting the system down. I think, if anything, he is taking a big step forward that way.
Sanchez completed 10 of 19 passes with one interception, coming at the hands of CB Darrelle Revis..
Later, the rookie signal-caller threw for two touchdowns, one a 40-yard strike to WR Jerricho Cotchery, and the other a 20 yard completion to WR Chansi Stuckey.
Sanchez displayed great confidence, running the offense efficiently, while delivering crisp passes to his receivers.
"It felt great," said Sanchez. " I felt a real good chemistry in the huddle. I felt when I was calling the plays, the guys were feeling me and feeling my sense of urgency. When we were in third-and-short, fourth-and- short, we get out there and try to ‘quick count,’ things like that, and just go play and do what we know how to do, and just react to what the defense is doing. That was great for us."
RB Leon Washington was particularly impressed with the rookie's poise during the two-minute drill.
"He kept his composure," said Washington. "He made the right throws and the guys made the right plays.
Kellen Clemens, taking all of his snaps with the second-unit, completed 4 of 12 passes. He threw one interception and threw two bad balls that were nearly picked.
Afterwards, Clemens didn't seem too phased by the apparent shift in the depth chart.
"We’ll just continue to work hard as an entire unit no matter who we’re with and keep getting better," he said.
CAMP CORTLAND TIDBITS
Ryan Impressed With Woodhead
When asked about the progress of Danny Woodhead, who despite his small size (5’7”-200Lbs) has been impressing, the coach had nothing but positive feedback.
“He’s a tough little guy. He really is,” said Ryan. “As productive as he was in college, you can see why. He’s got great hands. He’s got the best hands in the backfield in my opinion. He’s got great vision. He’s a little smaller than you would like. It’s harder for him to pick up blitzes due to his size, but he’s tougher than nails. He puts his face right in there so it won’t be by lack of effort if he can’t get something done that’s for sure.” \
This is Woodhead's second camp with the Jets. After being signed last season as an undrafted free agent, he spent the year on IR after suffering a knee injury in camp last summer.
Sanchez Wright On
4th year WR Wallace Wright has clearly been Mark Sanchez’s favorite target since he’s been practicing with the team. Starting at OTA’s and minicamp the connection of Sanchez to Wright has been a regular occurrence. The question is, will this trend continue as Wright has been an underdog his entire football career starting as a walk on at North Carolina, to making the Jets as an undrafted free agent. The team has a bunch of no-name receivers behind Jerricho Cotchery and if the trend with Sanchez continues, Wright has a good chance of moving up the depth chart.
QB Pizzotti gets an opportunity to show his stuff
Harvard rookie QB Chris Pizzotti got a chance to work with the third stringers at practice today over Eric Ainge and it looks like the Ivy League hurler will get a legitmate chance to take Ainge’s roster spot as the team will likely only keep three QB’s.