New York Jets coach Rex Ryan made it official Wednesday, saying that rookie Mark Sanchez has been named the starting quarterback.
Ryan made it clear that his decision to go with Sanchez — who the Jets moved up in the draft to select at No. 5 overall — was his decision. Before taking questions, Ryan outlined his thoughts on choosing Sanchez over veteran Kellen Clemens.
“I think this is the appropriate time to make the decision,” Ryan said. “I feel very comfortable with my decision to go with Sanchez as a quarterback. I’ve relied on a lot of people, but more than anything, I’ve relied on myself. My instincts as a coach — I’ve been around the game a long time. I feel that the best move for our franchise and for our team is to go with Mark as our quarterback.
“That’s not a slight to Kellen Clemens at all. I think we can win with Kellen also as a quarterback. But, right now, I think Mark gives us the best opportunity to win. And that’s what I owe this franchise. That’s why I made this decision. It’s not based on any other decision. Again, this was strictly my decision. I certainly leaned on people, guys that I have a great deal of respect for, but again this was my decision.”
Sanchez is scheduled to appear at a separate news conference following Ryan.