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Will rookie QB Bryce Petty be a heartbreaker for Jets?

Checking the New York Jets' mailbag on the eve of the 2015 season:

@RichCimini: No, I wouldn't say they're pleasantly surprised with Bryce Petty. They're reasonably satisfied with his progress, but it's not like they're blown away. Offensive coordinator Chan Gailey offered a candid assessment the other day, saying, "I don't like where he is, but I like where he's headed." That's a great way of putting it. The preseason was a tremendous learning experience for Petty -- he played 101 snaps in three games -- but he still has such a long way to go. At Baylor, he played in an uptempo, spread system. Most colleges employ that style, but football people will tell you the Baylor scheme, in particular, is as far away from a pro-style offense as you can get. He played against vanilla coverages, stunting his development in terms of reading coverages.

You're probably wondering, "So why is he the No. 2 quarterback this week?" It's a fair question. They could've kept Matt Flynn or Josh Johnson, both of whom are better than Petty right now. But the Jets decided the gap between Petty and a second-rate veteran was offset by Petty's familiarity with the Jets' offense. It's a calculated risk, for sure. But, if something happens to Ryan Fitzpatrick, they feel Petty could operate more of the playbook than Flynn or Johnson. Another factor: They wanted to use the spot for a developmental player at the bottom of the roster. Make no mistake, if Fitzpatrick is injured and can't play Week 2, they'll sign a veteran.

As for next year's competition, who knows? It's impossible to say at this point. The Jets have 16 games to figure out the futures of Fitzpatrick (a free agent) and Geno Smith. If they're still looking for a quarterback at the end of the year, my hunch is they'd try to acquire a proven veteran in the offseason. It would be an awfully big leap of faith to include Petty, a fourth-round pick, in the quarterback conversation for 2016 unless there's evidence he can play at this level.