New York Jets: Can Bryce Petty be a starter in the future?


The New York Jets have become a team that has improved dramatically over the off season. Going from a 4-12 team to one with a new coach, new general manager and a team that seem like they can make the playoffs, the sky is truly the limit in 2015.

The Jets have been plagued with offensive issues for the past couple of seasons since they went to back to back AFC Championships. All eyes were on the offense during this pre-season not only on starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick but also rookie quarterback Bryce Petty.

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Every fan has this one question in their mind when they see Petty play: Can he be a starting option in the future?

After the first teams were done, Petty lead the Jets’ second team onto the field and shortly completed the first preseason of his NFL career. He did have a few bumps in the road but in all grew with every play that he had. As the preseason moved on, the Jets added two new free agent quarterbacks in veteran Matt Flynn and Josh Johnson.

Many believing the addition of Flynn would automatically move Petty to the third quarterback position while Flynn would step in as Fitzpatrick’s back up. In Petty’s second preseason game, he threw for 168 yards, going 12-of-19 with one touchdown. It seemed as if Petty was learning with each week that passed.

With Flynn being out for some of the game during the preseason, it allowed Petty to grow and see more game time than previously thought. This really did seem like a blessing for Petty as he seemed to be more relaxed in the pocket and knew what he was doing and didn’t panic at all in bad situations.

Aug 21, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty (9) throws a pass during the second half at MetLife Stadium. The Jets defeated the Falcons 30-22. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Petty seemed to grow so much that a true shock came down the wire when the Jets and the rest of the teams in the NFL were cutting players to get to the 53-player roster limit. The Jets had cut both Flynn and Johnson in favor of having Fitzpatrick as the starter and Bryce Petty as the backup, until injured quarterback Geno Smith came back. Head coach Todd Bowles even stated that he saw a lot of growth out of Petty during this preseason and feels like he can take on the backup role until Smith returns.

When it comes to the question if he can be a starter in the future, a lot comes to play to get that answer. One of the major things that will impact that answer is can the Jets finally develop a quarterback? The problem with the Jets over the years is that they either bring in older quarterbacks who are done in a couple seasons or are unable to develop the quarterbacks they have.

The only exception to this is Chad Pennington who was plagued with injuries. The other major factor is that both Smith and Fitzpatrick can not be injured at the same time. Forcing Petty into the fire before he has a chance to truly develop into that starting role will stunt his growth and can throw him off track completely. Now if the Jets can avoid both Fitzpatrick and Smith from going down and are able to develop Petty, the answer will definitely be a positive one.

Sadly, with this question it is one that will only be answered over time. Jets fan will not know if Petty is the guy until next season barring any unforeseen circumstances. However, one thing can be said about Petty, he has the tools and the athletic ability to be a good starting quarterback in this league. What will take him over the hump is if he works hard and studies for this season so that he can take the reigns next season and beyond.

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