Kallas Remarks by Steve Kallas
Nobody was really surprised when Jet coach Rex Ryan named rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez the starter for now and the future. Kellen Clemens was, of course, disappointed, but he was in no position to complain. The only way he could have been named the starter was to play out of his mind and have Sanchez fall on his face. While Sanchez almost (but not quite) fell on his face, Clemens never rose above mediocrity. So, it’s Sanchez’s job.
It might have been a more interesting (closer?) decision if Ray Lewis could have caught a Sanchez pass that hit him in the hands. Sanchez had already thrown an interception for a touchdown and, while dropping back to pass on his next possession, never looked Lewis off and literally threw a pass right to him. But Lewis dropped the ball (it looked like he would have easily returned it for a touchdown).
Everyone (announcers, coaches, players) seemed really excited that Sanchez “came back from adversity” to hit Leon Washington for a touchdown later in the first half. While not to take anything away from Sanchez (he did show a lot of poise and the Ravens started the game with more of a regular-season edge), the reality is that, when he threw that TD pass, Ray Lewis was on the sidelines, Ed Reed was on the sidelines and Terrell Suggs hadn’t played at all.
WHAT ABOUT KELLEN CLEMENS?
Well, Kellen Clemens really has nothing to complain about. Everybody knew he had to win the job hands down. And it certainly was there for the taking given the play of Mark Sanchez. But Clemens came in and immediately threw his own bad interception that was returned for a touchdown.
Rex Ryan called his decision a “gut” decision to give the job to Sanchez and Clemens, frankly, never did much to make it a close call. Some have noted Clemens 12 interceptions in scrimmages to Sanchez’s five, but it’s a little scary that intra-squad scrimmage statistics are being kept and, arguably, were a major factor in the decision (because they both played so poorly against the Ravens).
WHY DOES REX RYAN FEEL SO COMPELLED TO TALK ABOUT THE PATRIOTS?
It’s almost bizarre that, since the day of his first press conference (where he, essentially, promised a Super Bowl in the next couple of seasons), Rex Ryan feels that it’s necessary to take shots at Bill Belichick and the Patriots. He said things like he’s not going to kiss Bill Belichick’s rings, that “I’m just letting him know I’m not intimidated by him” and “you don’t win and beat a Bill Belichick-coached team by tiptoeing up there.”
While all Jet fans agree with that sentiment, it’s been, for the most part, decades of talk and very little action. Why upset Belichick (assuming he even cares what Ryan says, a big assumption)? Belichick makes his living by eating up young quarterbacks. And while the Patriots clearly don’t have the greatest defense (although they do have the greatest offense), you know it’s the scheme that Belichick puts in place to confuse these quarterbacks almost as much as the personnel. Somehow, you have to think there’s going to be a little extra put into the game plan against the Jets. That’s not a good thing for Rex Ryan, Mark Sanchez or any Jet player.
I don’t recall seeing a Bill Belichick-quote that said Rex Ryan is going to be intimidated by anyone. So, if you’re Rex Ryan, why even bring it up?
DOES MARK SANCHEZ = JOE FLACCO?
Actually, the better question is does the Jets defense and the other offensive players (besides the QB) equal the Ravens defense and the other offensive players (besides the QB). The answer here is no.
When Kris Jenkins and Darrelle Revis actually play, the Jets have a chance to be a very good defense. But they’re not the Ravens. Offensively, well, even if it’s a wash (and it probably isn’t), Sanchez is going to have to step up like Flacco did. And while the Ravens didn’t ask Flacco to “do too much,” he’s a physical specimen with an excellent arm who did plenty to help the Ravens win.
That’s a lot to ask of the Jets and Mark Sanchez this season.
© Copyright 2009 by Steve Kallas. All rights reserved.