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Todd Bowles Says Nobody Has Taken the Lead Yet in Jets Training Camp QB Battle

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NFL: New York Jets-Training Camp Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

The biggest topic at Jets training camp is predictably the battle for starting quarterback. Head coach Todd Bowles doesn’t have a leader in the clubhouse yet. Judging from his comments today, it doesn’t sound like he views four days of practice as sufficient time to judge the position.

On his overall assessment of the quarterbacks right now…

It’s give-and-take. It’s an evaluation period, like I said. They have some good throws. They have some bad throws. We have to see who is more consistent over time and who makes those plays. In two days, I’m not going to give an overall assessment and say “this guy is one point ahead of that guy”. It’s a process.

On when he would re-allocate the reps if, hypothetically, Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg start to impress him…

When they start to impress me.

On if that re-allocation of reps could be tomorrow, a week, or two weeks from now…

Yes.

On the main criterion for the starting quarterback…

There’s no one main criterion. Obviously, production takes care of a lot of it - command, intelligence, toughness, vocal. There’s so many things as a quarterback that you look for. You try to get as many of those as you can going forward to make that decision.

On if he’s looking for the guy who gives him the best chance to win…

Always, yes.

On if Hackenberg or Petty have done anything so far to earn first-team repetitions…

In two days of practice (in pads), there is no first quarterback. There’s no first reps. Everybody is taking first reps regardless of when they take those reps. It doesn’t matter. There’s a lot of guys that are the first one out there. The first one out will be the first one out opening day, not the first one out the fourth day of training camp.

I tend to think Bowles has the right view on this. Not only that, he can’t say anything else. Once he starts saying one player has the lead, he opens up Pandora’s box. If the leader has a bad practice, Bowles will have to provide an update about the new quarterback standings and then have to justify his position if things are unchanged.