Florham Park, NJ – Todd Bowles made the only decision he could and officially named Josh McCown the starting quarterback. In what was supposed to be a open, three-way competition but started as a sham then took a sudden turn into a possible two-way competition the Jets finally decided to stick with what was the only obvious answer from the beginning.
Josh McCown is not a good quarterback, he has never been a good quarterback and he isn’t suddenly going to turn into a good quarterback at 38-years-old. But this decision isn’t about Josh McCown as much as it’s about Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty not being as good as the not good McCown.
This season may be about the tank for the future for everyone except the one guy who has the final say on who starts at quarterback, Todd Bowles. Predictably Bowles went to the “he gives us the best chance to win” well and we can all laugh at that because when the guy you pick has a record of 2-20 over his last 22 games then obviously it’s still not a good chance to win. We can all laugh at the way the Jets wasted these last two weeks giving Hackenberg so many reps and sidelining McCown therefor giving him even less of a chance to win by taking valuable time away from him to try and gel with such a young receiving core, but after watching Hackenberg play these past two weeks it’s impossible to argue that McCown doesn’t give them the best chance to win even if that chance is slim-to-none.
Naturally there’s a segment of Jets fans clamoring for the 26-year-old Petty to get the job, ignoring the fact that while he looked competent this preseason he was playing mostly against players who won’t be in the league in a week. Petty looked competent against those guys, but put him in an actual game and you get what we saw last year. If anyone got shafted in this “competition” it was Petty, because he never actually got first-team reps, but there’s a reason for that. The Jets know what he is, they knew before training camp started.
Bowles did say that the competition for backup is still ongoing and considering how overwhelmed Hackenberg looked the last two weeks Petty should win the backup job. McCown will most likely end up getting hurt some point because he plays reckless and ends up getting hurt a lot, or he will simply be benched because the Jets won’t be winning games. At that point you can start clamoring for Petty, or for Hackenberg (or reverse that order either way you’ll have the chance to clamor for both), but in the end it’s not going to matter.
This team isn’t any good and these quarterbacks aren’t any good but to start the season Bowles, who will be coaching to try to keep his job, has to go with the best of the admittedly bad bunch. It’s the right decision for him, it’s not going to matter but he still has to try.
Chris Nimbley is the editor-in-chief of JetsInsider.com. He can be reached on Twitter (@cnimbley), or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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