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Christian Hackenberg headed in right direction

By Luis Tirado Jr.
Aug 27, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) looks to pass against the New York Giants during the second half at MetLife Stadium. The Giants won 21-20. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 27, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) looks to pass against the New York Giants during the second half at MetLife Stadium. The Giants won 21-20. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
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The New York Jets finally got a good look at everything quarterback Christian Hackenberg is all about. He’s clearly headed in the right direction.

For months now, fans and analysts of the New York Jets wondered exactly what they were getting when they decided to draft quarterback Christian Hackenberg in the 2016 NFL Draft. Right off the bat many knew that he was a developmental kind of player that would require a few years of training and development. Some believed he won’t last in the NFL while others believe with the right system, he can thrive is trained to improve as a quarterback.

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It was understood he wouldn’t see any playing time for the Jets in 2016 unless it was either a dire emergency at the position or in garbage time. It’s in the best interest of the Jets to not only sit him out for 2016 but put his high football IQ to the test on a daily basis. Luckily for Hackenberg, he’s able to get some valuable reps in thanks to preseason football.

While preseason football technically is meaningless in the grand scheme of things, it’s precious for someone in Hackenberg’s shoes. Based on what the football world saw last week in preseason Week 3 action against the New York Giants, Hackenberg has a while to go but showed signs of serious potential.

Of course, it remains to be seen if Hackenberg will ever develop into a true franchise quarterback over the years but the talent is clearly there. He’s got a good arm, is accurate, and to see him bounce back after starting his first ever preseason drive poorly, was a great sight to see.

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There is really nothing more to it than that considering it’s only a small sample size from a football game that means nothing.

Hackenberg knows what he’s capable of doing and is in a great situation with the Jets.

Thanks to a competent leadership regime, he’s in very good hands to be developed to the next level.

Offensive coordinator Chan Gaily and quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick are the perfect mentors for Hackenberg’s progression as he enters his rookie season.

If Hackenberg can dissect that game film and see the error in his ways, it’ll only help him in the long run. From all accounts, he should see more playing time in the preseason finale against the Philadelphia Eagles to have more material to study and grow from.

Courtesy of the Media Relations Department of the Jets, here is what Hackenberg had to say about his preseason debut:

On his emotions after his touchdown pass…

It was sweet. I wanted to go celebrate with my guys. I thought it was big for us and the team at that point in time. Robby (Anderson) made a great play, understood the coverage and went to our landmark and he was able to finish that off.

On how it will help him that he now has game film of himself…

I think practice is valuable and I think the game ultimately is what you work toward at practice, so I think being able to get some reps on tape is going to be good to learn from. It counts, it’s on the stat sheet and everything. Being able to go back and reflect on those plays where we’re playing against another defense – not just ourselves – so I think that is something that will be a really good tool for me moving forward.

On if there is any sense of relief that he’s going to play quite a bit within a span of five days…

I think you have to stay focused within the moment and that’s been my mindset. Whenever I get an opportunity, I try to take full advantage of it and do what I’m being coached to do. Execute, take command in the huddle, call the plays with confidence and then understand where I’m going with the ball when it’s snapped so that comes down to preparation and when we get a chance to look at Philadelphia moving forward now, that’s something that’s going to help obviously a lot with that and tying the concepts to what they are doing and where we need to go with the football.

On if he has made strides over the last week versus the first week of training camp…

I think each week has been better and better, just from feeling more and more comfortable. It’s a new environment – I think we’ve talked about this before with a bunch of you guys – I think it’s a new environment for me. Each and every day is an opportunity to learn something and get better at some areas. I think that’s ultimately how I’ve approached everything. I wouldn’t be able to say this week was drastically different than any other week, I think it was just very similar and in tune with the whole process for me and that’s how I try and take it, one day at a time and learn as much as I can from the guys that have played a lot longer than I have in the league.

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Overall, it’s great to see Hackenberg play at least a few reps to prove he’s more than capable of being groomed for the future. It’s hard in the city that never sleeps but this time around, everyone should be patient and simply let things play out naturally with Hackenberg. He could end up being another failed project at quarterback or possibly the franchise quarterback of our dreams. Either way at least for now, he’s headed in the right direction.

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