KELLEN CLEMENS has
seemingly secured his status as the Jets' Quarterback of the Future. A
second-round pick out of Oregon in 2006, Clemens averaged a touchdown every 10
throws this preseason, and his sparkling 112.2 passer rating was more than
twice that of incumbent Chad Pennington's. The upshot: Like the other players
shown on this page, eighth-year man Pennington needs to be sharp right away.
Coach Eric Mangini now has a strong alternative at QB.
The Jets' schedule
won't make it easy on Pennington, who will face five top 12 pass defenses in
the first six weeks. In his favor, though, is his history of defeating the
doubters by coming out roaring. Last year, returning from his second surgery in
as many seasons on his throwing shoulder and dealing with lingering questions
about his arm strength, Pennington averaged 269 passing yards in the first
three games while tossing five TDs and just one INT. A repeat performance is
necessary to ensure that he remains the Jets'--and fantasy owners'--Quarterback
of the Present.