Josh McCown appears to be out front so far in the Jets' dull QB battle
There’s an old saying in football that goes something like, “If you have [X] quarterbacks, you really have none.” Well, the New York Jets have three quarterbacks, none of whom seems all that exciting an option.
There’s the veteran Josh McCown, who has something like 13 games of high-level play on his track record that stretches back to 2002. He’ll turn 38 this summer and is clearly a stopgap even if he wins the job. Reporters on scene at Jets OTAs nevertheless have come away with the opinion that he’s currently the best option.
Then there’s Bryce Petty, the 2015 fourth-round pick that sputtered in his starting audition last season. Petty completed just 56.4 percent of his passes, averaged a paltry 6.1 yards per attempt, and threw three touchdowns against seven interceptions. Petty nevertheless thinks he’s the man for the job.
“I have the confidence now that, hey, I can play this game. I think that’s a big thing,” Petty said, per the New York Daily News. “Some guys need experience to build that confidence, and I think that’s kind of what I needed to see that, hey, I can see a rush, I can see a defense, I can make throws, I can throw touchdowns.”
The third option is 2016 second-rounder Christian Hackenberg. Many expected the Jets to select a QB in this year’s draft but they did not, reportedly because they’re higher on Hackenberg (who redshirted his entire rookie season) than many media members. Defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson sees Hackenberg’s skill but also acknowledged that he needs some work before he’s ready to roll as a starter.
“Slowly progressing … still got a little ways to go,” Richardson said, per the New York Post. “He’s getting better every day … that’s pretty much it. Slowly progressing, man,” Richardson told the paper. “He still needs to get past the learning curve. It’s still too fast for him. But other than that, man, he’s still got a cannon. He’s firing it. When he’s on point, he’s on point, but when he’s not, he’s not, so got some growing still.”
It’s early yet, and there’s plenty of time for the Jets to figure out who the best option is, but when you’re choosing between an aging, replacement-level veteran and two young quarterbacks with little track record or pedigree, that’s not exactly an enviable position to be in.