The New York Jets finished up their OTA’s for the week and quarterback Geno Smith is working with the first team unit with no sign of Ryan Fitzpatrick. Head coach Todd Bowles had some things to say.
The New York Jets finished up their first week of organized team activities and there were a few notable absences. The biggest being the one that remains unsigned and continues to dominate the headlines for the Jets this offseason.
Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick despite his absence continues to be a topic of conversation here with the Jets and that was the case during a press conference with head coach Todd Bowles. Thanks to the Media Relations Department of the Jets, we were able to grab a few quotes from the head coach.
On how often he asks Mike Maccagnan for Fitzpatrick updates…
Not often. Just tell me when it’s done.
On if he’s confident Fitzpatrick will return…
You’re hopeful, I don’t know about confident. A lot of things can happen in football. Nothing surprises you but they’re working on it and hopefully things work out.
On if there has been any Fitzpatrick changes…
Is he here? No changes.
So it seems perhaps nothing has changed in the Fitzpatrick vs Jets front office saga. Fitzpatrick and the Jets have refused to drag this negotiation process out into the media and it is going to stay that way.
There are no guarantees that Fitzpatrick will return to the Jets and Bowles knows that better than anyone. “When he walks in the locker room and I see him, I’ll know he’s back” said Bowles.
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Which means that the current projected starter is quarterback Geno Smith and even though he’s throwing in shorts, he’s looked good early on in OTAs.
Bowles continued to iterate throughout the press conference that these OTA’s are voluntary and doesn’t mean much:
On Geno Smith and this being a big opportunity for him…
I don’t know if it’s a big opportunity. Again it’s voluntary. There’s nothing going on right now, but to get the system down going into training camp. I think it’s good for all of them.
Right now isn’t a big opportunity for Smith, but the possibility of him getting one more chance in a Jets uniform is. There is no doubt that in a quarterback battle that Smith would crush Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty.
Hackenberg is inexperienced and Petty is perhaps even greener, Smith has lots of experience on his side and has shown the ability to lead a spread offense. These voluntary OTA’s will continue to run through June 9th before the Jets reconvene for mandatory minicamp: June 14-16.