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Todd Bowles gives latest assessment on Hackenberg

By Luis Tirado Jr.
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 27: Christian Hackenberg #5 of the New York Jets drops back to pass against the New York Giants during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium on August 27, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Giants defeated the Jets 21-20. (Photo by Rich Barnes/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 27: Christian Hackenberg #5 of the New York Jets drops back to pass against the New York Giants during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium on August 27, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Giants defeated the Jets 21-20. (Photo by Rich Barnes/Getty Images)
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Quarterback Christian Hackenberg has gotten some praise so far in training camp and in his preseason Week 1 appearance. Head coach Todd Bowles gives his latest assessment on the young quarterback of the New York Jets.

For months now, everyone was seemingly ready to write off quarterback Christian Hackenberg due to his inability to get the job done. It’s amazing considering he’s yet to take a snap in a regular season game but many believe due to his accuracy issues during training camp that it means he’s a complete bust.

Needless to say, while he wasn’t perfect, Hackenberg actually played well and did everything he was supposed to in the limited time he got in the preseason Week 1 victory over the Tennessee Titans. Hackenberg looked calm, cool, and collective in the pocket and silenced some of his critics that were ready to ship him out of town.

Progression is key for Hackenberg who undoubtedly must use this to continue boosting his confidence and morale to see if he can dethrone veteran quarterback Josh McCown. As of right now, it looks like McCown would be the Week 1 regular season starter for the Jets but again, all of that can change faster than a New York minute.

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Hackenberg needs to continue showing poise and execution from the pocket throughout training camp if he’s to earn more reps in preseason action. The more he’s able to play efficiently could very well mean that the Jets might consider going with Hackenberg over McCown.

In the grand scheme of things, since the Jets are committed to a full rebuild, it would make more sense to start Hackenberg over McCown. Considering all the young players on the roster and especially on offense, Hackenberg would get valuable regular season experience and also grow with players around his age group.

Recently, head coach Todd Bowles broke down his latest assessment of Hackenberg in a press conference. Courtesy of the Media Relations Department of the Jets, here is what Bowles said on Hackenberg’s progression so far:

On Coach John Morton’s statement that Christian Hackenberg is still a rookie in many ways…

It is because he’s getting a lot more reps (now). Last year, there were three quarterbacks ahead of him, so this year there’s only three in camp, so he’s getting a lot more reps right now (and) he’s getting to play for the first time really without running scout team cards so in that respect, yes.

On what Hackenberg is better at this year than he was last year…I don’t know if he’s better at anything, he’s just learning the offense and having the whole spring and taking the reps more, he’s getting to play more and as he plays more everything becomes easier for him so he’s better mentally from that standpoint.

On if the way Hackenberg is playing now makes him glad he took the approach he did with Hackenberg last season…It’s hard to get reps when there are three quarterbacks in front of you. I’m happy where he is right now and he’s getting to play, he’s learning it, he doesn’t make the same mistake too many times and he’s getting better from there.

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Overall, Hackenberg is slowly but surely winning over critics, especially those that control whether or not he’ll see playing time at some point in the regular season. It’s all up to him if he can prove his case to move up the depth chart and work his way into earning the starting quarterback role.

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