What does it mean?
It means they're giving him a crumb here, a crumb there to see how he reacts. At this point, why not? No one -- not even veteran Josh McCown -- has made a strong claim for the starting job. McCown has to be considered the leader, if only by default.
A recap of Tuesday's action in The Great Quarterback Battle (sarcasm):
It was a workmanlike day for McCown (10-for-15), who received the majority of the first-team reps. The best thing he did: No turnovers. He was "sacked" twice and victimized by two dropped passes. There were a total of eight drops, including three by Myles White and two by rookie running back Elijah McGuire.
Wow moment: McCown made some plays in a red zone period, including a touchdown pass to Jalin Marshall. That was preceded by two straight completions. It was one of his better red zone days.
Hackenberg said the first-team reps are "valuable," but he doesn't want to read anything into them. On Tuesday, he threw two good balls and that was about it, as he completed on 4 of 12 passes, with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
Wow moment: On his first play, Hackenberg reached back and fired a 75-yard touchdown pass to the new No. 1 receiver, Robby Anderson. No one ever said the kid doesn't have a strong arm. Anderson ran a deep post and beat Juston Burris by two steps. It was a feel-good moment for Hackenberg, who later fired a 10-yard scoring pass to Austin Seferian-Jenkins.
Whoa moment: In the first eight practices, Hackenberg had no interceptions -- none! On Tuesday, he threw two in a span of three plays. He was intercepted by Marcus Williams and rookie safety Marcus Maye, both on ill-advised passes. Maye, continuing to impress, read Hackenberg's eyes and jumped the route. Afterward, Hackenberg said he was proud of the way he responded for the remainder of practice.
Petty has slipped to a distant third in the competition. Actually, he had a few positive moments, but his practice time has diminished in recent days. He completed 8 of 13 passes, including a touchdown.
Wow moment: Petty was the first quarterback to run the two-minute drill and he responded with five straight completions, including a 25-yard touchdown pass to White. Petty changed the play at the line and lofted a terrific touch pass to White, who atoned for three earlier drops.
Whoa moment: He upset offensive coordinator John Morton with a poor decision in the red zone. Flushed to his right, Petty forced a pass to a well-covered McGuire at the pylon. He got away with a ball that should've been intercepted. Later, Petty acknowledged he has to be smarter, especially in scoring territory.