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Mangold thinks Jets OK with Sanchez or Clemens

Nick Mangold thinks the Jets are in good

Nick Mangold thinks the Jets are in good hands, whether it's Kellen Clemens or Mark Sanchez taking snaps next year. Photo Credit: David L. Pokress

Mark Sanchez? Kellen Clemens?

Nick Mangold couldn't care less.

Either way, said the Jets center, the team is in good hands. While the quarterback battle rages on between the shirtless Boy Wonder and the four-year pro who has yet to start a full season, Mangold is content knowing that either player can lead the Jets to a winning season.

"Kellen's been here forever and he knows the system. Mark coming in is doing a great job learning and taking in as much as he can," said Mangold, who was previewing a new video game in Manhattan Wednesday.

"Either way we're in a good spot because we have a great group of guys around them which should help take some of the pressure off."

Mangold and his teammates will make the trek upstate to SUNY-Cortland Thursday for the start of training camp, where the quarterback battle truly begins. Though Clemens has more experience than Sanchez, the highly-touted first-round draft pick is making strides.

"You can tell that he's got a lot of talent, but you can also tell he's a rookie," Mangold said of Sanchez. "He's learning and I think he's had a great attitude about his learning and how to go about doing the things he needs to do to be ready for training camp, so I'm excited to see where he's at now from where he was in the spring."

Seeing his two best running backs at camp also would be exciting. But it's possible both Leon Washington, who led the NFL in all-purpose yards last season (2,337), and Thomas Jones, who was fifth in the NFL in rushing yards (1,312), will be no-shows because of failed contract negotiations.

"I'm not going to be the 50th person to text them and say, 'Hey, you showing up tomorrow?' I'm staying out of it," Mangold joked. "But there are two sides of the game: the business side and the playing side. Fortunately for us we have two guys who are very good at separating the two. When Leon was gone for a little bit in the spring, you knew that he wasn't eating potato chips on the couch, watching Jerry Springer. And Thomas is the same exact way."

Despite the quarterback situation, the possible holdouts and Calvin Pace's four-game suspension for using a performance-enhancing substance, Mangold said he's optimistic about the season.

"I'm expecting to go 16-0," he said. "Obviously that happens once in a blue moon. But that's how you have to go into the season. You have to look at it like you're expecting to win every game. . . . And I think we have the guys that can go out there and make the plays that need to be made to win a bunch of games and get ourselves into the playoffs."

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