Top 3 takeaways from preseason debut of Hackenberg
By Michael Pallas
Quarterback Christian Hackenberg made his anticipated preseason debut with the New York Jets on Saturday night, and it was a solid appearance.
Even though quarterback Christian Hackenberg didn’t lead the New York Jets on any scoring drives, it can’t be deemed a colossal failure. That’s mostly due to the fact that he did lead them into scoring range, and Chandler Catanzaro missed wide left.
Who knows what could’ve happened had Catanzaro actually made that field goal? The Jets defense may have made a huge stop, and given Hackenberg good field position to lead another scoring drive on the subsequent drive.
That’s neither here nor there.
The Jets won the game, and they saw some good things out of Hackenberg. He’s young and still learning. There will always be some kinks to work out.
Let’s take a look at some of the positives from the Week 1 preseason action.
Next: 3. He's not fazed by the moment
3. He’s not fazed by the moment
No matter what the Tennessee Titans threw at him, Hackenberg appeared calm. He didn’t rush things, and he even threw the football away when he needed to.
He took the good with the bad, and he seemed to learn from his mistakes very quickly. Hackenberg didn’t allow mistakes to fester and compound upon themselves.
Even when he was on target, and his receiver dropped passes, it didn’t seem to bother him. He shrugged it off and moved on.
It may be just a preseason game, but Hackenberg showed he was ready at this juncture. He wasn’t fazed by the moment.
Next: 2. He's accurate
2. He’s accurate
The staple of the West Coast Offense is accuracy. Joe Montana was the perfect quarterback for that offensive system, as he completed 63.2 percent of his passes in his time in San Francisco under Bill Walsh.
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Hackenberg finished the game with 127 yards on 18/25 passing. That’s 72 percent, and that’s great for him.
It’s showing that he’s grasping the ideas of the West Coast Offense. Take what the defense gives you, and don’t take unnecessary risks.
He made some dump offs to the backs and underneath throws to the wide receivers and tight ends. It’s clear he is growing.
Next: 1. He's ready
1. He’s ready to start
Even though he didn’t lead any scoring drives, Hackenberg showed he’s ready to be a starter. He did lead them in a position to score, and Chandler Catanzaro missed wide left.
That miss changes the complexion of drives that followed because Tennessee began the following drive at the 45-yard line. That changes field position of the drives of the Jets in the future.
The fact that he wasn’t overwhelmed by the moment says a lot. He’s ready to take the next hurdle in his development. The Jets travel to Detroit on Saturday as he continues to do well in training camp so far.
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Hackenberg should start that game to see if he can carry the momentum from this game into the next. See what he can do with the starters against a defense who’s playing their top guys.
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