While the New York Jets starting quarterback job is Ryan Fitzpatrick’s, the back-up spot is up for grabs. It is shaping up to be a competition between Geno Smith and Bryce Petty. This leaves Christian Hackenberg to be the third or fourth string QB, depending on how many quarterbacks the Jets decide to keep on the roster.
This competition is extremely important to both Geno Smith and Bryce Petty because it is not the norm for teams to keep four QBs on the final 53-man roster – the 2013 Redskins were the last team to do so. Also the Jets spent their second-round draft pick on Hackenberg, so it is safe to say he will make final roster.
While Geno Smith has been taking snaps with the second team throughout training camp and preseason games, Bryce Petty has been performing well in his opportunities to win the back-up spot. Todd Bowles made it clear he will not come out with depth chart changes until the end of camp saying, “Until we make a change, there won’t be. That’s any position. When we make a decision at the end of camp, if it changes, it changes. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t.” So it is tough to say if Petty’s performance will be enough to move him up on the depth chart.
Petty has thrown for 335 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions on 40 pass attempts in his two preseason appearances. While Geno has only thrown for 126 yards, one touchdown, and one interception on 27 pass attempts. It is, however, important to take into account that Petty is playing against mostly third string players during his appearances.
Petty understands he needs to perform to stay with the Jets, but also to show other teams he can be an asset in the event he is released. Petty said, “It’s an audition for anybody watching that tape, but first and foremost it’s for the Jets because I want to be here,” Petty continued, “Each time I come out here, it’s to put on a show for them.”
While it seems Geno is the better decision for the back-up quarterback spot being he is the one with regular season experience, it is safe to say Petty is creating some noise here during the preseason.
When the Jets take the field against the New York Giants this Saturday, August 27th, Geno Smith needs to show Todd Bowles he can be the back-up quarterback they need. While, on the other hand, Petty needs to show he can be a viable back-up quarterback, or, at the vey least, is worth keeping around.