Christian Hackenberg struggles as Jets QB competition starts to fizzle

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The New York Jets' quarterback competition is becoming less competitive as the days roll by. Josh McCown is pulling away, albeit by default.

Friday was another difficult day for the signal-callers, who were a combined 3-for-13 in red-zone plays. Let's break it down:


There was some good and some bad. At one point, he completed nine consecutive passes in team periods, perhaps the best stretch of offense in camp. But when he got to the red-zone period, everything came to a halt. He managed to throw a couple of touchdown passes, but he was only 3-for-10, including an interception, in the red zone. All told, he was 12-for-20. As always, McCown worked exclusively with the first-team offense.

Wow moment: It happened in the red zone. McCown showed nice touch, hitting Deshon Foxx on a corner fade route. The 38-year-old quarterback raised his arms to celebrate; there haven't been too many of those moments in camp. Earlier, he zipped a nice scoring pass to Quincy Enunwa, who had roller-coaster day (two drops and a diving catch).

Whoa moment: McCown tried a screen pass to rookie running back Elijah McGuire in the red zone, and it was intercepted by safety Rontez Miles, who might have returned it for a touchdown in a real game. It doesn't get any worse for a quarterback; a play like that could be a 10-point swing in a game.


After a relatively promising start, Hackenberg has regressed over the past three practices. The people who say he should be handed the starting job should come to camp and see for themselves. Is he better than last year? No question. Is he ready to start an NFL game? No way. On Friday, he completed only 3 of 11 passes and was "sacked" three times. To be fair, he was victimized by two drops.

Wow moment: Sorry, not on this day.

Whoa moment: In the first team period, Hackenberg coughed up the ball on a sack by Lorenzo Mauldin. It was hard to tell from the sideline, but it didn't appear that Mauldin actually stripped the ball. Hackenberg just kind of lost it. Sloppy.


Petty said the other day he refuses to count his practice reps because he doesn't want to get caught up and distracted by how much (or little) he's playing. If he decided to go back to his old ways Friday, it wouldn't have been that hard to count -- one, two, three, four. Petty (1-for-3) has all but fallen out of the competition.

Wow moment: Come on, really?

Whoa moment: Late in practice, Petty and the entire third-team offense was told to run a punishment lap around the perimeter of the field. There was some confusion as they broke the huddle. Coach Todd Bowles was fed up and told them to run. Petty's day was effectively over.