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Double Coverage: Pressure on Stafford, Sanchez

Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert and Tim Graham

With nothing better to do during the NFL's dog days of July, two of our division bloggers hopped on the phone this week to debate which rookie quarterback faces more pressure this season: the Detroit Lions' Matthew Stafford or the New York Jets' Mark Sanchez.

The NFC North's Kevin Seifert and AFC East's Tim Graham considered the issue from a number of perspectives, including:

  • The 2009 expectations for each team. (Detroit: Win some games. New York: Win some playoff games.)

  • The contracts each player signed. (Stafford: Biggest in draft history. Sanchez: Biggest in Jets draft history.)

  • Each team's alternatives at quarterback. (Detroit: Daunte Culpepper. New York: Kellen Clemens.)

  • The urgency for each player to start right away. (Stafford: Moderate. Sanchez: Mandatory.)

Graham suggested the Jets will follow the Joe Flacco model that coach Rex Ryan witnessed last season in Baltimore. Seifert questioned whether Sanchez is as NFL-ready as Flacco. To which Graham responded with a vague insult of Flacco's foundation -- constructed mostly at the University of Delaware after transferring from Pitt -- relative to Sanchez's grooming at USC.

Listen to the podcast for all of the spice and color you've grown to love from Double Coverage -- and to discover the surprising conclusion we reached.


ESPN's Marcellus Wiley and Mike Golic also weigh in on the topic.