HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. -- Chad Pennington's tenure as the New York Jets' starting quarterback is over.
Jets head coach Eric Mangini announced Monday he's going with Kellen Clemens as his starter for Sunday's game against Washington. It's a move fans and media have been suggesting for weeks as the Jets have struggled to a 1-7 start.
"I made this decision not based on singling out Chad for where we are, but based on the fact that I think Kellen has earned this opportunity," Mangini said. "I want to give him this opportunity. It's in no way an indication that Chad is solely responsible. We all are."
Clemens, in his second season out of Oregon, replaced an ineffective Pennington late in the Jets' 13-3 loss to Buffalo on Sunday. His entrance was cheered by those remaining at Giants Stadium. He was just 5-of-12 for 67 yards and two interceptions, but one of those came on a desperation toss as time expired.
After waiting until last Wednesday to keep Pennington as the starter, Mangini didn't need the extra time to make his choice this week.
Clemens has a much stronger arm than Pennington and is more mobile, perhaps able to add a few more elements to the offense than the veteran could. Although Mangini wouldn't commit to Clemens beyond this weekend, the 2006 second-round pick will be under center Sunday against Washington for his second NFL start.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press