Young quarterbacks of Jets deserve some respect
By Paul Newbold
The young quarterbacks of the New York Jets, players who haven’t gotten a real chance to prove their worth, deserve some respect in the grand scheme of things.
Throughout this offseason, fans of the New York Jets have turned the quarterback position into the main topic of debate. Fans in general have written off the Jets young arms. While they haven’t shown much to date, I think they deserve some respect.
The conversation surrounding the position has been widespread and opinions on how to fix it are everywhere. Talk of bringing veteran quarterbacks have been considerable, with names such as Tony Romo, Jay Cutler, and even Brian Hoyer being mentioned. Tyrod Taylor and Chase Daniels have their supporters as well.
Then there is the upcoming 2017 NFL Draft. Many Jets fans think the answer for the Jets future lies in the first round of the draft. Names such as Mitch Trubisky, DeShone Kizer, and Deshaun Watson dominate the conversation. Other names I’ve heard mentioned include Pat Mahomes and even Chad Kelly.
Virtually every Jet fan I know has an opinion on what needs to be done, but few even mention the quarterbacks already on the roster. Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg have yet to get a real shot, but you’d never know it speaking to Jet fans. For many, neither is worth even including in the discussion.
The fact that they aren’t being included in the discussion is disrespectful to their talents. Both possess skills that could aid the team and writing them off before either had a fair chance doesn’t make any football sense. Jet fans need to start showing them some respect and stop labeling them as “busts” or “wasted draft picks”.
Petty saw his first professional snaps as the Jets quarterback at the tail end of the 2016 season. He appeared in five games for the team, completing seventy five passes on 133 attempts and was good for 809 yards and three touchdowns. Not the most impressive stats, but considering he entered the fray with a team decimated with injury, his 56.4 completion rate was admirable. Of course he did throw seven interceptions, but growing pains are to be expected under such circumstances. Petty deserves some respect and he’s earned a place in the conversation.
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Hackenberg has been insulted by many Jets fans since his arrival. After what many saw as a wasted second round pick in the form of Petty in 2015, they were furious over the selection of Hackenberg in the second round last season. For a young quarterback that has never even take an NFL snap, that has to be the ultimate disrespect.
The point I’m making here is Jets fans have been too quick to judge either one of these young arms. The Jet franchise was clear on both of these selections, they drafted them as developmental players, and at the position, that takes time. Both were red shirted in their rookie season by design. Patience is the key word here, nobody knows what either will look like when training camp rolls around this summer.
The NFL is full of quarterbacks that didn’t get their shot until two, three, and even four years into their career. Just because a player enters the league and struggles to break the starting line up, doesn’t mean he’s a bust. This is especially true with the modern NFL quarterback, draftees are more often than not ready for prime time. Defenses are much more complicated at this level as are the offenses they are attempting to run.
No matter who general manager Mike Maccagnan brings in this year to compete at quarterback, these young arms will be part of the equation. They both will be on the field and give it everything they got for the Jets franchise. Whether either can win a starting spot for the team is yet to be seen.
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Petty and Hackenberg deserve their opportunity. Both are professionals and deserve some respect from the Jets fan base. Let’s stop with the labels, the innuendos, and the out right dismissals. Until proven otherwise one or both of these young arms could develop into a franchise type player. Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt until then.