Passing Thoughts on Jets’ Preseason Finale

The Jets’ great quarterback mystery was solved this week when veteran Josh McCown was named the starter over Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty.

But, wait, this mystery can still deepen.

McCown only played a series in the first preseason game and practiced on a limited basis over the past week. Head coach Todd Bowles hasn’t ruled out giving McCown some playing time in the team’s final preseason game Thursday night against Philadelphia at Met Life.

He should.

Despite being a seasoned veteran, McCown needs get some work with the first-team offense in their new West Coast offense. He will be playing against second-, third-, and fourth-team players looking to impress for a spot among the final 53 over the weekend.

If he doesn’t, one can only wonder how he will look against Buffalo in the opener. Any starter, regardless who he is, needs work. McCown is the stop-gap measure before the team’s quarterback of the future emerges in the 2018 draft.

Petty, who may not see action due to his sprained knee, played well in the last two preseason games, even though he faced the Lions’ and the Giants’ backups. He completed 32-of-48 (66.7) for 426 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. When healthy, he looks like the No. 2 quarterback.

Hackenberg had been given every chance to win the starting job, but he showed his inexperience against the Lions and Giants. He competed 32-of-52 (61.5 percent) for 267 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions that were both returned for touchdowns. He also was sacked six times.

Somehow, though, you get the feeling that he will be back in the starter’s role again this season.

With Hackenberg showing some positives flashes, he won’t be tossed aside that easily. Besides, McCown has a record of 2-20 as a starter in his last 22 games.

The Jets signed defensive end Kony Ealy, who was recently released by New England. He will be reunited with former Missouri teammate Sheldon Richardson. They also added some depth at safety to backup rookie Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye.

Terrence Brooks was acquired from Philadelphia for cornerback Dexter McDougle, who has been injury free this summer and also has been playing well. The Jets also signed safety Armagedon (yes, it is right) Draughn, who recently played in the CFL.

Keep an eye on the offensive line, which is still searching to finalize its cast, as well as the Jets’ kickers.

Veteran Chandler Catanzaro continues to be pushed by Ross Martin.

About the Author

Jeff Moeller

Jeff Moeller has been covering the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and college football and basketball as well as high school sports on a national and local scene for the past 39 years. He has been a Jets and Giants beat reporter for the past 13 years.

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