The New York Jets have named rookie Mark Sanchez their starter for the 2009 season, NFL Network’s Jason La Canfora confirms.
The team had no official comment, but head coach Rex Ryan and Sanchez are expected to appear at separate regularly scheduled press conferences starting at 2 p.m. ET.
The move comes as a little bit of a surprise considering Sanchez is coming off a rough preseason outing on Monday against the Baltimore Ravens, in which he completed just 3-of-8 passes for 43 yards and was harassed all night. He threw an interception on the opening series that was returned for a touchdown. He finished his outing by tossing a TD pass to running back Leon Washington, but that was after the Ravens had removed most of their starters.
“You saw his eyes get big, and he was jumping around in the pocket,” Ravens LB Ray Lewis said after the game. “Bottom line: We gave a lot of looks and disguises and we confused him a little bit.”
Sanchez could have won the starting job by default. His challenger, Kellen Clemens, has had a rough preseason. On Monday night, Clemens was 5-of-10 for 60 yards. Like Sanchez, he had an interception returned for a touchdown and threw a TD pass.