The New York Jets are wise to not play quarterback Christian Hackenberg in their season finale against the Buffalo Bills.
Make no mistake about it, the New York Jets made the right call when it comes to whether or not to start quarterback Christian Hackenberg this season. When he was selected in the 2016 NFL Draft, the general consensus on him was that the potential is there but he has quite the road ahead to successful.
It requires a ton of time, coaching, and of course, patience for everything to come into fruition with Hackenberg. 2016 will forever be remembered as one of the worst seasons in franchise history. From injuries, a lack of execution and players completely giving up to even play competitively, this season has been one gigantic mess, to say the least.
There is absolutely no reason to throw Hackenberg out there to the wolves when it’s clear he’s nowhere near ready. For months now, that has been his situation as the Jets know he needs to be developed the right way. Throwing him out there in a season finale with a lackluster offensive line and overall talent around him not playing up to par isn’t exactly a recipe for growth.
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It doesn’t make sense to risk him to injury or even hurt his overall confidence by throwing him out there in a meaningless game in the pathetic situation of the Jets. When you have players not giving their all and a head coach that has easily lost his locker room, it’s best to sit a future potential franchise quarterback until he’s 100 percent ready to go.
Hackenberg is nowhere near that and shouldn’t be used at all against the Buffalo Bills unless quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is injured. No, starting him for the second half or even a quarter won’t equate to much in the grand scheme of things.
Even head coach Todd Bowles explained to the media as to why this is an easy decision for him. As per the Media Relations Department, here is what he had to say about why he’s not going to play Hackenberg on Sunday:
On if Hackenberg is not ready to play…
Anybody that hasn’t played. They won’t be ready until they play, but you don’t leap frog people to start playing. If Fitz gets hurt and he gets to play, you’ll see him play, but if not it doesn’t mean anything plus or minus that we’re not playing him this year. We had a plan for him going in when we drafted him. He’s taken a lot of reps in practice. If Fitz gets hurt, he’ll go in there and play. If Fitz doesn’t, he won’t play, but he’s ready to play. He’ll be ready to play. Obviously, with experience comes better play and you’ll see a bunch of things, but putting him in right now isn’t going to hurt or help him.
Overall, this is in the best interest of Hackenberg as the Jets and most of their fan base anxiously want this season over and done with already. For Hackenberg, he still has a long journey ahead but at the very least, was able to study and learn as much as he could from the sideline.