It took awhile to come to fruition but opportunity is finally knocking on the door of Bryce Petty.
The New York Jets are headed towards their sixth straight season of watching the playoffs from home, there’s nothing left to the 2016 season but four games and plenty of evaluation.
Pride? What about it? That remains to be seen from a 3-9 team which was embarrassed, again, on Monday night to the tune of a 41-10 beating at the hands of the Colts at MetLife Stadium. Maybe these next four games will reveal enough character from the Jets where we’ll see a team playing with pride.
In the meantime, the Bryce Petty era will get a four week audition. Head coach Todd Bowles finally took the clipboard away from Petty and into the deserving hands of the now former Jets starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.
The only thing more aggravating than watching Fitzpatrick throw 14 interceptions, was Bowles stubbornly staying with him while Petty watched and waited his turn.
Well as it turns out, the plan according to Bowles, for the last couple weeks now, was to hand the flight plans to Petty.
Plan? There was a plan here? Apparently so if you let Bowles tell it.
“We could have won 45-0 and Petty was going to start the last four games,” said Bowles after the game Monday night.
Okay coach. If you say so.
It may have been an unorthodox, at times dysfunctional, way of getting here for Petty, but his time is now. It’s a moment he’s been waiting for since the Jets used their fourth round pick in 2015 to draft him.
“Just opportunity,” said Petty as he spoke at the podium after learning of the news. “I just said in an interview earlier, I’m a kid from Midlothian, Texas. Who would’ve ever thought I would be where I am now? I’m excited for the opportunity. I’m going to lead these guys the best I can be ready to rock and roll.”
Four weeks. That’s what the Jets will give Petty to show if he’s got enough potential in the bank worth extending their investment in as a potential long-term starting quarterback.
One spot start against the Los Angeles Rams and some mop-up duty here and there isn’t enough for Bowles and the Jets to evaluate what they have in Petty. The next four weeks with Petty leading the starting offense onto the field should help with that.
Opportunity won’t always announce itself and, in Petty’s case, may not always come when it should. There’s a reason, however, backups are always coached-up to be ready. Just as in the game of life, you never know when your number will be called to show what you can do.
“Opportunities are far and few between in this league,” said Petty. “You have to capitalize on every chance you get.”
Petty has an opportunity to turn heads and raise some eyebrows in a good way for a Jets team sorely in need of reasons to believe 2017 and beyond has hope instead of just a bunch of question marks.