FLORHAM PARK, New Jersey (AP) — The New York Jets’ starting quarterback job is up for grabs.
That means a three-man competition among Josh McCown, Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg, with the winner under center for the regular-season opener. At least that’s the company line, as expected, at the moment.
“We’re giving everybody a great opportunity to show themselves,” new offensive coordinator John Morton said Tuesday, “and see if they can be the starter.”
Coach Todd Bowles wouldn’t put a timetable on selecting a starter, adding that the competition is “wide open” and might not be settled until training camp.
“Obviously, you want to see them start to separate at some point,” Bowles said. “It’s going to come down to playing in games. As far as getting more reps in practice as we go, we’ll see what happens.”
During the first practice of organized team activities, McCown predictably got the most work with the starting offense in team drills. Petty got some snaps, too, while Hackenberg worked on the second field with backups.
That’s all by design, Morton said, and is no reflection on who might be the front-runner in the competition.
“We have a plan, so guys will be rotating,” Morton said. “The quarterbacks will be rotating, getting the same amount of reps throughout the week.”
Still, McCown would appear to be the favorite to be the one leading the offense on Sept. 10 at Buffalo. The veteran quarterback, who turns 38 on July, signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Jets in March after spending the past two seasons in Cleveland.
New York marks the 10th NFL franchise McCown has spent time with, and he’s largely considered an ideal mentor and “bridge” quarterback at this point in his career.
McCown realizes, of course, that he’s not in the long-term plans for the franchise. The Jets are hoping Hackenberg or Petty can show that they might be the future.
Hackenberg was drafted in the second round out of Penn State last year, but never saw the field during the regular season as he was considered a major project.
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