Todd Bowles has handled Josh McCown foolishly
By William Cochrane
The New York Jets starting quarterback needs to be named now. Head coach Todd Bowles has been handling Josh McCown with kid gloves. The gloves need to come off if this team wants any chance at succeeding and Bowles wishes to keep his job.
With the New York Jets heading into their third preseason game, anticipated favorite starting quarterback Josh McCown has not been receiving first-team reps like he should be to get in sync with the first-team offense. In Thursday’s final practice of training camp, two games before the Snoopy Bowl versus the New York Giants, McCown received just a single rep and that came with the Jets scout team offense. He threw a 15-yard touchdown pass.
With everything taken into account, head coach Todd Bowles and his approach to handling this year’s quarterback process has been very bewildering. In the team’s first preseason game vs. the Tennessee Titans, Bowles started McCown to see how he looked against a real team. Unfortunately, his time was very limited as he only played the first series.
McCown completed three of four passes amassing 72 yards and one touchdown. Which, by the way, has been the Jets only touchdown drive in their first two preseason games and McCown’s only game action thus far.
Christian Hackenberg has received most of the time under center while also starting in Week 2 against the Detroit Lions. While Gang Green’s third year pro Bryce Petty has seen the second most time of the three quarterbacks.
At this point, Week 3 of the preseason, most NFL coaches know who their starting quarterback will be. Nevertheless, after the completion of training camp, the Jets quarterback position remains a completely unsolved mystery it seems. One that not even professor Sherlock Holmes would be able to solve.
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After an abysmal five win season and a locker room meltdown of a year ago, Bowles, who is in his third year of a four-year deal, is in desperate need of a successful season in order to keep his job.
Rolling into the third game of the preseason without knowing who your starting quarterback will be, is an emphatically discouraging indication of poor coaching.
Week 3 of an NFL preseason is when the entire first team should be practicing with their number one quarterback before the season begins. It’s when you want your offense clicking on all cylinders in order to begin the regular season.
The player who received the most reps with the first team this week was Hackenberg. With that, is it safe to assume that the actual plan is to start the former Nittany Lion in the most important game of this year’s preseason action against the Giants? The other assumption that strikes a chord with Bowles’ logic might be that he wants to keep McCown injury free to start the 2017 season. Only the third year head coach would know those answers.
With that conservative plan of thinking and coaching style, expect this to be a very long season for the lonesome Jets and quite possibly a very short one for Bowles. The only rhythm this offense has shown was the very first play of the preseason.
If Bowles was smart, he’d simply state that McCown will start the regular season and have him play a majority of Saturday’s game. Hackenberg looked terrible against the Lions and if he isn’t going to start the season for the Jets, shouldn’t be taking reps away from McCown who needs time to get in sync with the first team offense. One series and practice in training camp isn’t going to be enough.
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