When speaking about the Jets’ quarterback situation on the first day of the team’s voluntary mini-camp, head coach Todd Bowles succinctly evaluated the situation with a simple education analogy, one that can easily funnel through the team.
“Even when you go to kindergarten, somebody has to be the teacher.”
Bowles was referring to veteran Josh McCown, who will turn 38 in July, and likely will be the team’s opening-day starter against the Buffalo Bills Sept. 10. McCown will be in competition with mildly tested Bryce Petty and untested Christian Hackenberg . The veteran likely will be a stop-gap measure until Hackenberg – whose stock continues to gradually rise – or even Petty takes over the spot in the team’s restructuring phase.
“Josh knows more and he is older. At the same time, he is a good teaching tool to help those guys catch up and compete. Once training camp gets going, each guy will get more reps. Then you start to differentiate yourself in everything you do to earn more playing time.”
Bowles didn’t confirm that he would know the team’s starting quarterback by the third preseason game.
“I have a point in my head, but they have to distinguish themselves as well” added Bowles. “I could say week three, but somebody might do it in week two. You see it develop.
“I don’t know when that point might be yet, but I have an idea. It could be by the third preseason game, but it might change.”
Bowles also addressed the recent release of veteran wide receiver Eric Decker, another sign of the Jets’ rebuilding movement. Ironically, recently signed free agent Devin Street is now the elder statesman in the receiving corps with his four years of experience.
“Decker’s release was no different than David’s (Harris),” said Bowles. “There is no right time to exit someone. We’re going to a younger movement and the decision was made.
“It is not a leap of faith. We have guys at all positions who can play. It is no different than having seniors leave and having freshmen, sophomores, and juniors needing to step up. We have to have some of the younger guys step up. We have to develop new leaders and new stars.”
The Jets also announced the signing of running back/kick returner Jordan Todman, who is a five-year veteran who spent last season with the Indianapolis Colts. Todman averaged 29.9 yards on kickoff returns last season. He has averaged 26.6 on kickoff returns for his career.