Ethan GreenbergNYJets.com Contributor
The quarterback competition is officially under way. Through four practices, two of which were padded, all three QBs have shown a good grasp of offensive coordinator John Morton’s system.
“We’re learning a lot as we put the pads on. It’s a lot of give and take,” said Josh McCown. “I think the best thing is the energy has been great with the guys, and it’s a fun team environment. It’s fun on both sides of the ball. Guys are really getting after it, and more than anything, I think pushing one another to get the best out of each other and that’s been just encouraging and fun to be a part of.”
McCown, the seasoned veteran of the group, has been taking first-team reps while second-year gunslingerChristian Hackenberg has been with the second team. However, head coach Todd Bowles said the playing time for all three QBs would “work itself out.”
After a pro redshirt season in 2016, Hackenberg has looked more comfortable in the pocket as he continues to show progress with his decision-making and accuracy.
“I mean I feel great,” the Penn State product said. “I understand the stuff that I worked on and I’m seeing results. I understand it’s a progression. There’s going to be ups, there’s going to be downs. I’m just trying to stay in a constant wave and stay in that zone to be able to bounce back. I think that’s been good. Not just physically in terms of going into this season from a growth standpoint, but also mentally preparing yourself and finding out ways to stay steady.”
Don’t forget about third-year signal caller Bryce Petty, who started four games in the second half of last season. Petty has recovered nicely from torn labrum surgery in his non-throwing shoulder. His main focus has been making each rep count and progress with every play.
“I’ve kind of thought that the last couple of years,” he said regarding a lack of practice reps. “Then in preseason, everything works out. That’s where you get your chance to play and show. That’s the thing that I’m trying to do every time I get out there in a game, to execute every play. From the call in the huddle to the pre-snap, the post-snap. Everything. Because that’s what’s going to show up in the preseason.”