- Rich Cimini, ESPN Staff Writer
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Well, that didn't take long.
Training camp is only a week old, but Rex Ryan has all but declared an end to the backup-quarterback competition. The New York Jets' coach said Tuesday that Mark Brunell, who basically signed on the eve of camp, is "pretty much a lock for the No. 2 spot."
Translation: Thanks for playing, Kellen. We have some cool parting gifts at the door.
In theory, Kellen Clemens could stick as the No. 3 quarterback, but his salary ($1.176 million) is a bit steep for a third-string quarterback. Did someone say "pay cut"? That's always a possibility, especially since the team will have leverage if it waits until the end of the preseason.
Ostensibly, Clemens is competing with Kevin O'Connell for the No. 3 job. And to think, only 16 months ago (post-Brett Favre, pre-Mark Sanchez), Clemens was considered the frontrunner for the starting job.
Other Rex-isms from his delayed presser (it was an hour later than usual because he did a promo for "Hard Knocks," appearing via video conference on a big screen in Times Square):
1. Ryan confirmed that No. 1 pick Kyle Wilson will start at right cornerback in Monday night's pre-season opener against the New York Giants. He also said Matt Slauson will start ahead of rookie Vladimir Ducasse at left guard.
2. The coach still couldn't believe that CB Dwight Lowery offered to surrender his starting job to Wilson. Ryan: "When Dennis (Thurman, the secondary coach) told me, I was like, 'What?' I've never heard of that before in my life." Ryan painted it as a positive, claiming Lowery was taking one for the team. Lowery had a bad morning practice, according to Ryan.
3. Ryan continued to praise DE Vernon Gholston, noting that he beat LT D'Brichkashaw Ferguson twice in pass-rushing situations. Said Ryan: "He's the only guy who beat Brick all year." Ryan believes Gholston's slow development mirrors his college career at Ohio State, saying, "It took him three years in college before the light came on. It's happened right before our eyes." And here I thought it was the sun's glare in the press box.
4. For the second straight day, Ryan praised the offense, saying practices no longer are dominated by the defense -- pretty much a daily happening in 2009.
"Now they're taking shots back and forth at each other," said Ryan, adding, "We can beat you both ways."
5. How did Ryan spend some of his down time over the weekend? He went to Garcia's, a Mexican restaurant in Cortland. He ordered a $4 special. Cracked Ryan, "I know I got the (contract) extension, but that's still good business."
Well, that didn't take long.Training camp is only a week old, but Rex Ryan has all but declared an end to the backup-quarterback competition. The New York Jets' coach said Tuesday that Mark Brunell, who basically signed on the eve of camp, is "pretty much a lock for the No.