If there’s a competition for the Jets backup quarterback role, head coach Todd Bowles apparently hasn’t received the memo yet.
With Ryan Fitzpatrick entrenched as the starter, the next biggest storyline in Jets’ training camp arguably has been if the team decides to carry four quarterbacks on their depth chart this season.
Coming off the heels of their first preseason game, a 17-13 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars at Met Life Stadium, Bowles didn’t tip his hand when asked how did Geno Smith and Bryce Petty look.
“He did okay,” said Bowles.”Like I said, Geno and Bryce played okay. Fitz played okay. The biggest thing is they didn’t turn it over. We didn’t have any pre-snap penalties, and we had those all week in practice since camp began. We didn’t turn it over and they gave us a chance. I thought they commanded the ball well. I don’t think anybody saw any extravagant defenses or blitzes or anything like that. They were playing basic coverage like us.”
Fitzpatrick played two series with the starters and looked solid in his efforts to shake off some rust. Smith came on for Fitzpatrick and went 8-of-14 for 79 yards and a 17-yard touchdown pass to Charone Peake in the second quarter.
Bryce Petty came on after Smith and went 7-of-14 for 93 yards, not bad but he also didn’t get the Jets into the end zone either.
When asked if there’s a competition between Smith and Petty, Bowles wasn’t exactly ready to call it that yet.
“Geno is number two right now,” said Bowles. “You’re not making any competition after one preseason game. Geno is number two. Fitz is number one. Bryce is three. Hack is four.”
Hack, would be Christian Hackenberg, the Jets 2016 second round draft pick. It’s next to impossible to envision a scenario where the Jets don’t have Hackenberg on their opening week roster in September. This puts an added emphasis on the performance of Petty in preseason games.
Smith has game experience working for him when it comes to making a case as to why he should be the favorite to be the number two quarterback. Petty, however, still has a certain unknown factor to him that Bowles and his coaching staff could be hesitant to part ways with.
If Smith and Petty are number two or three on the quarterback depth chart remains to be seen, in the meantime the pressure’s on Petty to convince the Jets it’s a competition even worth having.