Earlier in the week, the New York Jets released their official 2017 depth chart. Fans anxiously anticipated the release for one reason: They wanted to see whom head coach Todd Bowles and company named their starting quarterback.
Like an impossible multiple-choice question, Bowles had to decide between 37-year-old journeymen, a second round bust or a fourth round quarterback who has shown little promise. Bowles went with the journeyman in quarterback Josh McCown.
New York Jets Not Making Right Decision Starting Josh McCown
McCown played sparingly in the preseason. However, when he got in the game he performed well, driving his team down the field for a touchdown on his first drive of the first preseason game. McCown then sat out until he played some snaps in the fourth preseason game.
Most analysts would unequivocally say that McCown gives the Jets the best chance to win in 2017. He has experience and talent but injuries and some poor performances have derailed his career. McCown gives Gang Green a chance to win in 2017, but is that really what they want?
It’s no secret what the Jets goal is this season: get the number one overall pick in the 2018 draft. With that selection would hopefully come the franchise quarterback the Jets so desperately need. McCown isn’t the way to get that selection.
Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty
Bowles played it smart in the preseason. He gave both Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty plenty of playing time to evaluate them against different defenses. Neither one impressed and that is why neither will start Sunday against the Buffalo Bills.
However, just because neither player impressed doesn’t mean that the Jets front office should be done evaluating them. The preseason is exactly that. Both quarterbacks need to build chemistry and continuity with the players they’re lining up with. Without that, fully evaluating them will be impossible. There are still plenty of opportunities to put them into games and that’s what should be done.
Not only would starting the young quarterbacks give the Jets a definitive answer that neither one is the future, it would help them secure that number one pick since both players lack the talent and poise to be the franchise quarterback.
The Jets are at a crucial spot in their rebuilding period. Will they fully commit knowing that it could hurt ticket prices and fan engagement in the short term or play Hackenberg and Petty knowing in the long term it is the way to go?
These are all questions that Bowles and general manager Mike Maccagnan will be asked for the next 16 weeks. However, for week one it seems like they have made their decision.
New York opens its season Sunday in Buffalo at 1 p.m. And Bowles seems set on going with McCown behind center when these two AFC East rivals face off. With both teams trying to tank, the outcome will be one heavily debated on sports radio.