Jets should treat Hackenberg like Rams did Goff
By Michael Pallas
For New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg, it’s not about being ready to play now, but about being the quarterback of the future. So the Jets need to start him immediately to find this out.
The New York Jets need to look at the Los Angeles Rams as the template here. However, unlike Jared Goff, who was a rookie last season, they need to give Christian Hackenberg an entire season to work out the kinks in his game.
Last season, the Rams didn’t start Goff until Week 10, and he looked completely lost out there. They kept him out there, and let him take his lumps. Now he looks much better, and he looks much more confident in himself.
The Jets need to do the same with Hackenberg. Only, they need to do it right from jump street, in Week 1. There’s no time to play games here.
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The Jets are not a win-now franchise. It’s clearly about the future. If he makes mistakes, so be it. Let him take his lumps, make mistakes, and learn from them. If he’s the future of the Jets, then he will show you in games that matter, not camp, practice, or preseason games.
Hackenberg had a whole season off. He’s had an opportunity to sit back and learn and work out the problems in his mechanics.
Some people would say it’s rushing him too quickly. According to Rich Cimini of ESPN, they need to protect Hackenberg:
He arrived last year as a broken quarterback, his psyche frayed after a difficult finish to his career at Penn State. Wisely, the Jets sat him for the year, affording him the chance to re-boot in a stress-free situation. They can’t risk a backslide by playing him before he’s ready from a mental standpoint.
Media and fans don’t always look at the potential negative effects of sitting and waiting for longer than you believe. What if he gets antsy to start, and then, when he finally gets his chance, he tries to do too much? What if that compounds on itself from the wait, and that shoots his confidence down?
No one wants to look at the negatives from waiting. What about the positives that could come from starting right away?
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Let’s see if starting him does the opposite. Starting Hackenberg could show him that the team believes in him, and he performs well because of that. We like to accentuate the negatives, but we forget about the positives that can come from things. Let’s see what we have, period.
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