NFL Notebook

Jets’ Sanchez basks in rave reviews

MARK SANCHEZImpressive debut for QB MARK SANCHEZImpressive debut for QB
Associated Press / August 17, 2009

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Welcome to the NFL, Mark Sanchez. Now, let’s see what you can do against one of the league’s toughest defenses.

The New York Jets’ rookie quarterback will get his first career start against Ray Lewis and the Baltimore Ravens - coach Rex Ryan’s former team - in a preseason game Aug. 24.

“I have my work cut out for me,’’ Sanchez said yesterday with a laugh. “That’s why it wouldn’t be right of me or anyone else to make this a make-or-break game.’’

After all, it’s still just the preseason and the Jets’ quarterback competition between Sanchez and Kellen Clemens is far from being decided. Or is it?

Ryan previously determined that Clemens would start the exhibition opener last Friday against St. Louis and the quarterbacks would flip-flop against Baltimore. But after Sanchez, the fifth overall draft pick, sparkled against the Rams, Ryan spoke glowingly of the rookie and did so again yesterday.

“He actually performed like I thought he would,’’ Ryan said of Sanchez. “He’s cool, doesn’t get rattled and just went in there and did a great job. He was part of the solution. He let his teammates work and, shoot, they drove it right down the field.’’

Sanchez came into the 23-20 loss with 28 seconds left in the first quarter and threw a 48-yard pass to David Clowney on his opening play. He was 3 of 4 for 88 yards in one series that was capped by Thomas Jones’s 1-yard touchdown dive.

Meanwhile, Clemens, entering his fourth season, was 4 of 4 for 24 yards, was sacked once, and lost a fumble in two series.

Hartley suspended
Saints kicker Garrett Hartley will serve a four-game suspension when the regular season begins because he tested positive for a banned stimulant.

Hartley said he obtained the Adderall prescription pills from a former college friend and used them to stay awake while driving at night from Dallas to New Orleans for an offseason workout. Hartley said he learned of the failed test in a recent letter from the league, and did not plan to appeal. The NFL considers players’ drug tests confidential and does not comment.

Saints coach Sean Payton said Hartley’s failed drug test and expected suspension was the primary reason the club signed 45-year-old kicker John Carney Saturday night. Hartley made all 13 of his field goal attempts when he took over for the final eight games last season.

Ravens sign QB Lemon
The Ravens signed quarterback Cleo Lemon to a one-year deal, getting insurance in the wake of a shoulder injury to reserve John Beck. Lemon, a five-year veteran with eight career starts, worked out for the Patriots last week . . . Cowboys receiver Roy Williams hurt his left wrist when he came down hard during yesterday’s morning practice. The Cowboys said X-rays were negative and that Williams, expected to be the team’s No. 1 receiver after the departure of Terrell Owens, is day to day. The Cowboys got cornerback Mike Jenkins back on the field after he missed a week because of a sprained right ankle . . . Backup Rex Grossman is expected to miss about a month with a hamstring injury and the Texans are looking to sign another quarterback to fill in until he’s healthy. Grossman, the former Bears starter, was injured in Saturday’s win over the Chiefs and coach Gary Kubiak said he doesn’t feel comfortable finishing the preseason with only Matt Schaub and reserve Dan Orlovsky . . . Wide receiver Brandon Marshall and free safety Brian Dawkins returned to practice for the Broncos. Marshall had missed more than a week of workouts with a leg injury. Dawkins, who had his right hand heavily wrapped over a cast and was wearing an orange protective jersey, had been out since Aug. 3 with a broken right hand . . . The Raiders signed former Texans linebacker Morlon Greenwood, giving the team depth at the position. Jon Alston is nursing a foot injury and Isaiah Ekejiuba has been slowed by a dislocated shoulder.

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