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PEETE PULLS AHEAD OF DETMER IN EAGLES’ STARTING QB DERBY

SHARE PEETE PULLS AHEAD OF DETMER IN EAGLES’ STARTING QB DERBY

Any rumbling about a quarterback controversy in Philadelphia can stop now.

While Rodney Peete wasn't the starter in the Eagles' 30-16 exhibition victory over the New York Jets on Thursday night, he was easily the most effective of their three quarterbacks.Last year, Peete took over for an ineffective Randall Cunningham four games into the season and helped the Eagles to a 10-6 record and a playoff win.

But the Eagles signed former Heisman Trophy winner Ty Detmer and coach Ray Rhodes promised him two starts in the exhibition season.

Peete said he was never worried about his status as the starter.

"I wasn't trying to read into anything that happened," said Peete, who was 9-for-15 for 144 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. "I felt I didn't have to make any statement."

Detmer went 6-for-13 for 80 yards and one touchdown in his start against the Jets. But even before the game, Rhodes amended his earlier plan and said Peete would start the final two exhibition games.

"Ty did some good things, but Rodney was very sharp," Rhodes said. "Rodney did a good job of taking advantage of the things they gave him."

The Jets gave Peete a lot of blitzes, and while they sacked him once, he beat the pressure many more times.With New York sending blitzers, the Jets' defensive backs were forced into man-to-man coverage. Peete knew where the pressure was coming from and got the ball quickly to wide receivers Chris T. Jones and Irving Fryar, who had little trouble getting open.

"Rodney was able to pick up the blitzes and hit the post patterns," Rhodes said. "When they were going to commit to the blitz and leave center field open, he did a good job of getting rid of the football to the right guys."

The quick slants led to the first of Jones' two touchdowns, a 19-yarder that was part of a 17-point second quarter that turned a 6-3 Jets lead into a 20-6 Eagles advantage at the half.

Jones finished with five catches for 70 yards. It was a coming-out party for a player who was heavily praised by Rhodes as a rookie last season, but rarely played.

"Last year, I came in and it was difficult for me to learn all the system," Jones said. "I just took the time to learn the offense, and everything started to come along."

Jones wasn't the only Eagles receiver to take advantage of single coverage. Fryar, the veteran wide receiver signed as a free agent in the offseason, caught four passes for 95 yards.

"Really, it was Fryar who hurt us the most," Jets coach Rich Kotite said. "I thought our linebackers and defensive line did a good job. They played better this week than last."