Ryan Fitzpatrick, Geno Smith and Bryce Petty all saw game action against the Jaguars last week, but newly drafted QB Christian Hackenberg was left on the sideline, failing to enter the game at QB at all.
I've seen some fans question the coaches for holding Hackenberg out of the game, but if you really think about it...it makes perfect sense for the Jets.
One of the main questions at camp at the moment revolves around whether the Jets are going to keep all four quarterbacks. Of those quarterbacks only two are really safe, Ryan Fitzpatrick who just signed a nice new deal and Hackenberg, the Jets second round selection in the 2016 NFL Draft.
Geno Smith is likely going to remain with the Jets as the only experienced back-up, this all adds up to one player fighting for his spot, that player being Bryce Petty. The 2015 4th round selection of the Jets hasn't been given much of an opportunity to shine, and despite a promising start against the Jaguars, it was obvious he still has a lot to learn. However he's had only a year in the league, and if he did end up on the wrong side of the roster cut-down, that would raise a lot of questions about the value of that 4th round selection.
Todd Bowles was asked about Hackenberg after practise yesterday, stating:
The biggest thing is we want to make sure he learns mentally. It's not even about playing right now. When I decide that he's going to play two quarters or one quarter or a series, he'll get more reps in practice and he'll go, but he's watching the other guys right now and he's in study 101. He's learning a lot of things. He's grasping it. He has a great attitude and he's working on fundamentals and getting better. When we decide that we've seen enough of the other three guys, then he'll play.
Obviously that's great to hear, but Hackenberg's development will be a long process. Seeing him play right now isn't really important. I know fans always want to see new players, and we want to see what we have in the former Penn State man, but for the Jets...it's far more important to see Bryce Petty on the field.
If you carry four quarterbacks, that means there is another area of your team that loses a player. If you're going to be short-handed, you want to make sure it's worth it. I imagine Petty will continue to get considerable playing time throughout the pre-season and it's 100% the right decision by the Jets.