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Pennington: Petty Has The Perfect Opportunity

Indianapolis Colts v New York Jets Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Bryce Petty will be making only his 2nd NFL start today when the New York Jets head over to San Francisco to face the 49'ers. It's the first of four games that Petty will start, giving him the perfect opportunity to stake his claim to the 2017 starting job. Eric Allen had a chance to speak to former Jets QB Chad Pennington about Petty, and here is what he had to say:

“I think it’s a perfect opportunity for him to be able to throw his name in the pot for next season’s quarterback competition and conversation, there are four games here — three of them which I think anybody would say are extremely winnable games for the Jets, one that would certainly be a tough task into going into New England and beating the Patriots. But it’s a great opportunity for him to show that he is worthy for being mentioned for competing for the Jets’ quarterback spot in 2017.”

I've always said that Pennington would make a great QB coach. He was never blessed with the biggest arm or outlandish athletic ability, but he was one of the best decision makers out there. He was meticulous and precise, and had it not been for injuries, I firmly believe he would have QB'd us to multiple championship games and maybe even a Super Bowl. He knows exactly what he'd be looking for from Bryce today.

“His goals have to be that he shows he is in command of the offense, command of his footwork and decision making, and that he is accurate. That’s what I would be looking for,” Pennington said. “I would be looking for just offensive logistics, how my offense runs with him in the huddle. Is he an extension of the coach? Secondly where is his decision making? Is he making good decisions, is he avoiding disasters? And third, is he hitting his targets?”

This is the thing, we don't need to see the finished product this year. We need to see improvement through the last four games. We need to see his footwork improve, we need to see him actually move through his reads and make the right decision at the end of it. Small steps that give us hope that he can continue to progress.

Playing QB in the NFL isn't easy, you hear about the mental clock all the time, and knowing when to vacate the pocket, move up or slide, move from read one, to read two, to checkdown, or to vacate the pocket and run or throw the ball away. This is the area we need to see improvement in, and it'll go a long way to determining if Petty can become a starting NFL QB.

“What I’ve seen when I have watched Bryce play is his footwork does not match with his mind and his footwork is not telling him okay I have stayed on this route too long. It’s time to move on whether running or finding my check down,” Pennington said. “He really has to develop that mental clock and that mental clock does not come from your head. It comes from your feet. Your feet are what save you and remind you that I have spent too much time in this pocket or I have spent too much time on this specific route and I need to move on to my next option.”