For the proverbial Jets’ fan, two questions regarding the offense could be fairly obvious.
Will Christian Hackenberg be able to open up more of his game this weekend against the Detroit Lions? How will Josh McCown and Bryce Petty fit in this weekend?
Last week against Tennessee, Hackenberg looked poised in the Jets’ new West Coach offense, as he flicked short passes across the middle and in the flat, completing 18 of 27 passes for 127 yards and an average of 5.1 yards per pass.
He threw past 10 yards twice in the game, overthrowing both of his targets both times. Hackenberg connected on 9 of his first 11 passes, and then began to show signs of the inconsistencies that have plagued him since the team’s OTA. He did not throw an interception and was sacked once.
However, Hackenberg continues to be haunted by miscues in camp, mainly throwing to force the ball to receivers and holding the ball too long. Yet, his confidence has increased and he looks under control most of the time.
The Jets’ staff was pleased with his showing against Tennessee, and they believe he can take the next step. They would like to see him thrown the ball more downfield and possibly place him into a two-minute drill.
“Well, he has to take what they give him,” said head coach Todd Bowles. “Some of the plays were designed, some of the deep stuff wasn’t there and he checked it down. He just has to do his job. You would like to see him throw down the field, but again, he did his job and everything that was asked of him.
“I want to see him do his job,”added Bowles of Hackenberg. “I don’t want him forcing anything. We have plays built in to throw downfield. If it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t work out, but we do have plays in for him to throw downfield, for all of them to throw downfield.”
Bowles indicated that it is likely Josh McCown will get the start once again against Detroit Saturday night, and see more time. He was an efficient 3-for-4 for 72 yards and a four-yard touchdown on the Jets’ opening series and then left the game.
McCown only had nine snaps.
“He needs practice and he needs some preseason,” said Bowles about McCown. “I don’t think he needs to go every game, all four quarters and everything like that, but he’ll play. He needs work.”
Bryce Petty also is expected to see action. Petty entered the game late in the third quarter against Tennessee, but he couldn’t get into a rhythm. He finished the game completing two of six passes for 16 yards and had a sack.
Bowles plans to play all three quarterbacks against Detroit, and isn’t ready to create a pecking order.
No, it’s too early,” he said.” It doesn’t matter where they start at, but we have to increase the ones and make sure they’re even all the way through, but we haven’t talked about it yet.”