As the New York Jets continue through training camp, they have been handling quarterback Christian Hackenberg the right way by sticking him with a familiar face.
With four active quarterbacks on the roster of the New York Jets at this point in time in training camp, it’s important that they’re all developed for now and of course, the future. As we all know, there is no quarterback controversy this time around as Ryan Fitzpatrick has already been deemed the starter for 2016.
Quarterback Geno Smith will more than likely end up as the main backup behind Fitzpatrick as the No. 3 spot on the roster is up for grabs between Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg. It all comes down to how both perform during training camp as well as their performance in preseason football.
While it’s not unheard of for the Jets to head into the regular season with all four quarterbacks on the roster, they might stash one on the practice squad or cut one they feel doesn’t have the potential to be a franchise quarterback down the road.
Out of the two, Hackenberg needs the most work considering his collegiate history. Once a promising starter, once he lost his first head coach Bill O’Brien to the NFL, he regressed tremendously. The talent and unique skill-set was always there but the lack of a cohesive offensive line, coaching and supporting talent around him was not.
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The Jets so far in training camp have been handling him the right way, especially with how he’s been partnered up with Fitzpatrick the moment he re-signed with the Jets.
If you notice a common theme of training camp for the Jets, Hackenberg is almost always seen next to, around or tossing the football with Fitzpatrick.
Having a veteran NFL quarterback to mentor you towards the next step is incredibly important.
Besides bringing back Fitzpatrick to have stability under center, the Jets knew his value in developing these younger quarterbacks, especially Hackenberg, is something you simply can’t put a price on.
In an article written by ESPN New York’s Rich Cimini, here is what Hackenberg said about his relationship with Fitzpatrick and how it’s helping him develop:
“I like to see what Fitz does, his thought process, how he shortens it up for himself and how he executes it. If it hits my brain the right way and it makes sense, I try to use it.”
Perhaps the Jets giving more money to secure Fitzpatrick for 2016 wasn’t just about him starting but more about his mentoring for the next year. Hackenberg, Petty and even Smith could one day possibly be the franchise quarterback the Jets need for a bright future at the most important position on the team. By the looks of it, the Jets are handling Hackenberg well in re-training him to hopefully one day, be an efficient starting quarterback in the NFL.