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Connor Hughes Talks Christian Hackenberg's OTA Performance

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Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Connor Hughes of NJ.com published his impressions of  Christian Hackenberg's performance at OTA's thus far.

Here are some of the things Hughes had to say:

NJ Advance Media kept a close eye on Hackenberg in the three media-open OTAs. While these statistics aren't official, they provide a glimpse into Hackenberg's play during team drills. Note: the Jets held seven other OTAs closed to the media.

21 of 36 passing (58 percent) | TD | 2 INTs | Fumble | 4 sacks

It's only OTAs, no pads, no real hitting, very early in the process, scripted situations, but those numbers aren't particularly encouraging. That would be a really ugly line if it were statistics from a game.

Hackenberg is noticeably improved from his rookie season. His footwork -- which was a point of emphasis in the offseason -- is more consistent, and he's missing less throws than he used to. Hackenberg also doesn't appear afraid of dumping it off anymore.

Last year, he wanted to show off his cannon arm, which caused him to force passes to places they shouldn't be. Now, he's dropping the ball off to the running back much more. That's a positive.

That sounds a bit more encouraging.  Hackenberg's footwork was a mess.  Success at the NFL level would not have been possible without substantial improvement here.

He misses far too many passes against air. There's no excuse for that. I don't have the exact numbers, but I'd say a safe estimate is he completed just 60-65 percent of his passes in quarterback-receiver drills. That's not good...

He threw just two interceptions in team drills, but nearly tossed six others. And I'm not talking about a receiver falling down. I'm saying the defender just dropped the ball.

Other times, the wideout/running back/tight end was wide open, and Hackenberg sailed it over his head or bounced it to him. That can't happen. In the three media-open OTAs, Hackenberg hit reporters with passes twice.

And we're back to not encouraging. Accuracy issues this bad, after showing similar issues for each of the last three years, are a pretty big concern.

Bottom line here is it's still really, really early. The pads aren't on, Hackenberg isn't running a real offense or facing a real defense, and the sample here is so tiny it is statistically meaningless. However, if anyone is looking for early returns suggesting Hackenberg is almost ready to take the reigns as starting quarterback for the New York Jets, it's difficult to find much in Hughes' report that offers comfort. Hopefully we will hear and see more positive reports as the pre-season wears on.