Schottenheimer's take on the QB battle

Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer made it clear this week that the team's starting quarterback position is up for grabs. Four players are in contention for the position – Chad Pennington, Patrick Ramsey, Brooks Bollinger and Kellen Clemens.

But when will the Jets' brass make a decision on who the starter will be?

"We're not going to rush this decision," said Schottenheimer. "Ultimately, it's going to be Coach Mangini's decision and however long it takes to get a clear-cut guy is what we're going to do."

What the Jets did in the spring practices, and will continue to do in training camp, is very unique in the NFL. One drill you would see Pennington working with the first group, and then you might see him with the fourth unit. You don't often see this sort of rotation on the pro level.

"Right now it's been fun to watch each guy get a turn, step into the huddle with the first group, and the very next day or two practices later he's with the last group," said Schottenheimer. "It's interesting to see those guys compete and raise the level of play of the guys they're working with, whether it's the first group or the third or fourth group."

Some might say this is all just window dressing, and it's Pennington's job to lose. This isn't the case, according to Schottenheimer.

"No (it's not Pennington's job to lose), it's a four-man competition," said Schottenheimer. "Whoever comes out of the competition should feel very good they weren't given a job; they've earned the job, and they've earned the respect and trust of their teammates and coaches."

So, according to Schottenheimer, you could see Pennington, Ramsey, Clemens or Brooks Bollinger start the opener in Tennessee.

While the media continues to sell Bollinger short, he is in the hunt. One reporter wrote about Bollinger this week, "he's not starting timber."

But remember, Schottenheimer was the quarterbacks coach in San Diego prior to joining the Jets staff, and his starting signal-caller with the Chargers was Drew Brees. Bollinger and Brees are similar quarterbacks in size and style. So this could help Bollinger.

So Bollinger is in the mix, no matter what anybody writes.

The biggest long shot at this point is probably Clemens because of his rookie status. He has the most work to do of the four candidates. And working is just what he's doing. Clemens is often one of the last people to leave the building late at night.

"He's got the passion for the position," said Schottenheimer.

So does Pennington.

"He's a tireless film guy, and he brings a ton of questions every morning," said Schottenheimer.

And the Jets will have a lot of questions at quarterback this summer.

It's going to be great theater.

The show starts on July 28.

"The plan is that you want to play the guy that gives you the best chance to win," said Schottenheimer. "After we go through training camp, go through the preseason games, we'll have a good idea of who that is. Whoever that guy is determined to be will be the guy who plays."

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