The New York Jets will have a competition for the starting quarterback job once training camp opens, and veteran Josh McCown will be vying for that role
A battle for the starting quarterback position will be the most interesting storyline when New York Jets Training Camp opens up on July 28 in Florham Park, NJ. Unfortunately, it won’t exactly be a bevy of stars vying for the job.
The three combatants are Josh McCown, Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty — not exactly Tom Brady, Joe Montana and Joe Namath — but it is what it is. These are the Jets after all.
Today we take a look at the savvy veteran (or is it old man?) of the trio, the 38-year old McCown. Here is his 2017 training camp profile:
2016 Season Recap
The 14-year NFL signal-caller started three games for the 1-15 Cleveland Browns and went 0-3 in that role. McCown completed 54.5 percent of his passes in five contests and tossed six touchdown passes and six interceptions. He averaged 220 passing yards per game, but also fumbled the ball seven times, which is much too often for a quality quarterback.
Sure, he was playing for the worst team in the league and McCown is with a different organization now, but the amount of fumbles has to concern the Jets, who are expected to be one of the worst squads in the NFL in 2017. McCown has been a backup most of his career. In fact, he has started more than 10 games just twice in those 14 seasons. That says a lot.
2017 Season Outlook
By all accounts it appears that McCown is the front-runner heading into camp, but that can change based on upcoming practices and preseason performance. Supposedly this is an open competition among the three players, but head coach Todd Bowles’ job might be on the line this year, so it would be no surprise if he gave the starting nod to McCown. Bowles could figure that McCown would give him his best chance to win immediately.
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That would be a mistake, though. The Jets are in full rebuilding mode. It’s time to see what Hackenberg can accomplish. Gang Green has a lot invested in him — a second-round draft pick in 2016 — so now is his opportunity to rise or fall. McCown has to know that but that won’t stop him from trying to secure the starting job outright.
If Hackenberg or Petty win the competition, at least McCown would provide New York with a viable backup quarterback.
Training Camp Forecast
Things are going to get very interesting once camp commences. Very interesting. Expect McCown to be the favorite going in but that does not mean he will be under center when the Jets open their season in Buffalo on Sept. 10.
He’ll get plenty of reps in camp, but I’m hoping that both Hackenberg and Petty are given the same amount to show what they can do during various drills. If I was a betting man, I would put my money on McCown coming out of camp as the starter but that does not mean I would agree with that selection. Not by a long shot.