FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Pining for Petty? Hoping for Hackenberg? Sorry, you'll have to wait.
"That's what I've been saying," Bowles said.
Yes, that's true -- in a way. A few weeks ago, Bowles said he couldn't envision a scenario where he'd change quarterbacks. Since then, he has repeated that theme in various forms. On Wednesday, he was presented with an exact timeline, as he was asked if McCown will start the final four games.
In response, Bowles reiterated what he already had reiterated: He's riding McCown until the end, meaning backups Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg should be prepared to spend the entire season on the bench.
"I'm young. I'm going to get my shot, I know that for a fact," said Petty, adding that McCown deserves to keep the job.
Hackenberg: "(My opportunity) just hasn't happened yet. I'm not mad about it. I feel like it's counterproductive to be frustrated about it."
If Hackenberg doesn't get off the bench, he'd be only the third quarterback drafted in the first or second round who didn't play a single snap in his first two seasons. That goes back to the merger in 1970.
The obvious reason for Bowles' steadfast commitment to McCown is that he's playing really well. The 38-year-old journeyman is enjoying a career year, as he's 12th in the NFL with a 96.7 passer rating. He was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week after passing for 331 yards and accounting for three touchdowns (one passing, two rushing) in the Jets' win over the Kansas City Chiefs.
The unspoken reason is that Bowles has no desire to give auditions to Petty and Hackenberg. They received extensive action in the preseason, and the Jets evidently didn't like what they saw. Neither quarterback figures to be a future starter, so Bowles doesn't want to give away reps. He also doesn't want to hurt his chances of winning.
Evaluate young quarterbacks for the future? Bah humbug. They will leave that to the New York Giants.
As for McCown, he took the "news" in stride.
"That was my plan and my expectation," he said. "To hear that just reaffirms it. I had every expectation of doing that anyway, but I'm glad to hear it."