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NY Jets Spotlight: Bryce Petty

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It's time for Petty and the Heartbreakers.

Elsa/Getty Images

Welcome to the Spotlight.  Here we spotlight one key player for each game of the season, hopefully putting a different player in the spotlight each week.  Today's player in the spotlight is New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty.

Bryce Petty is a 25 year old 6' 3", 230 pound quarterback out of Baylor University.  Petty was drafted by the New York Jets with the 103rd overall selection in the fourth round of the 2015 NFL draft.  While at Baylor Petty played in a very simple scheme that did not prepare him for the complexities of running an NFL offense.  As a result Petty was viewed as a developmental project who might take years to develop.

For better or worse, Petty's time has come.  Petty was first thrust into a starting role in the Jets November 13 game against the Los Angeles Rams.  Starter Ryan Fitzpatrick had an injured knee which made his status for the game questionable.  Petty split the starter's reps with Fitzpatrick during the week and was not confirmed as the starter until shortly before the game.  This time it's different.  For the first time in his brief career Bryce Petty was named the starting quarterback of the New York Jets a week ahead of time, and not due to the starter's injury.  The Jets are his team now, at least for the next four games.

Here are Petty's statistics for his brief NFL career.

Year

Attempts

Completions

Yards

TDs

INTs

Passer

Rating

.

2016

32

59

317

2

3

59.8

Bryce Petty has very good arm strength. In football parlance he can "make all the throws."  His arm is not in question.  It is the rest of his game that the Jets need to evaluate. Can he read NFL defenses? Can he process the information quickly and efficiently and make good decisions based on what he's seeing?  Can he get the ball away in a consistently timely manner?  Can he avoid too many costly sacks and turnovers?  How does he deal with defensive pressure?  How is he in two minute situations? These are the types of things the Jets need to evaluate over the next four games in order to begin to determine whether Bryce Petty has a long term future as a starting quarterback in this league.

If Bryce Petty excels over the next four games, or at least proves composed, confident, and competent, he will get a leg up in attempting to win the 2017 starting quarterback job for the Jets.  If Petty is terrible these next four games Petty might not get much of a chance to win a starting quarterback position for the Jets or any other NFL team any time in the foreseeable future.

The 2016 NFL season is over for all practical purposes for the 3-9 Jets.  This game against the San Francisco 49ers represents, in effect, extended tryouts for the 2017 season.  This is Bryce Petty's time to shine.  This is an unusually good opportunity for a still raw developmental 4th round project quarterback to seize the day against one of the worst defenses in the NFL and begin to make his case to be a starting quarterback in this league. Bryce Petty, the spotlight is yours. May you shine brightly this afternoon in California.