FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Even though his team is a playoff long shot, New York Jets coach Todd Bowles said he has no plans to audition Bryce Petty and/or Christian Hackenberg at quarterback. Josh McCown will remain the starter.
“I’m not coming up with a scenario right now (that would involve a change),” Bowles said Monday. “We’re going to play the games and we’re going to try to win each one … Josh will be our quarterback and we’ll go from there.”
A year ago, Bowles turned to the untested Petty when the team dropped to 3-9. Right now, the Jets are 4-6, having lost four of their last five games. They have a bye week, followed by a challenging homestretch, starting with the Carolina Panthers (6-3) on Nov. 26.
Bowles said he wouldn’t make a change unless “something happens to Josh,” meaning an injury.
The 38-year-old journeyman, who has battled injuries in recent years, has played every snap in his first season with the Jets. On Sunday, he became the oldest quarterback in NFL history to set a career high for touchdown passes in a season. He threw his 14th in the 15-10 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
McCown is ranked 13th in passer rating (93.7), so he hasn’t done anything to lose the job. At the same time, the Jets don’t have a long-term answer at the position and some fans are clamoring to see Petty or Hackenberg, a 2016 second-round pick who has yet to take a regular-season snap.
General manager Mike Maccagnan said last week they didn’t go into the season with a “prerequisite” to play Hackenberg. Bowles said recently he saw enough of his young quarterbacks in the preseason. There’s a good possibility they will use a high draft pick on a quarterback. McCown, who believes he’s having his best season, didn’t sound concerned about a possible change.
“I give my all to the role I’m in and, if that changes, I’ll adjust accordingly,” he said. “I don’t pay attention to what outside opinions are. My role is to serve as the starting quarterback and I’m doing the best I can. If that changes, I will help the best I can in any way. … We’ll see, but I don’t think too much about that.”
Petty has been the No. 2 quarterback in every game except Week 1, when he still was recovering from a pre-season knee injury. The former fourth-round pick started four games last season, but he completed only two due to injuries. He finished the season with a 60.0 passer rating. Hackenberg, given a chance to win the starting job in the preseason, played poorly and has been inactive in nine of 10 games.