<
>

Jets quarterback Bryce Petty: I say, I'm the No. 1

Bryce Petty made a strong case for himself when he came off the bench in the third preseason game and almost led the Jets to a come-from-behind win over the rival Giants. AP Photo/Julio Cortez

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Who’s No. 2?

That’s the question buzzing around the New York Jets as they head into Sunday’s game at the Oakland Raiders: Who’s the No. 2 quarterback?

Bryce Petty doesn’t care about who’s No. 2. He wants to be No. 1

“I never said, ‘I’m the No. 2,'" Petty told ESPN.com. “I say, 'I’m the No. 1.'

“You’ve got to prepare just like the starter. And that’s been the whole key to the whole competition the whole time.

“You never want second place. You understand it, but at the same time you have to go out there and every time try to be better than you were yesterday. So that’s been my mindset, really, since I came in."

Josh McCown is the starter, but coach Todd Bowles has continued to keep private his thoughts on who McCown’s backup is.

Petty made a strong case for himself when he came off the bench in the third preseason game and almost led the Jets to a come-from-behind win over the rival Giants. Petty completed 15-of-18 (83.3 percent) for 250 yards with three touchdowns and zero interceptions for a stunning 158.3 quarterback rating.

The competition between Petty and Christian Hackenberg should have been over at that point.

But Petty suffered a Grade 1 sprain of the MCL in his left knee and didn’t play in the last preseason game or the opener. He said his knee is fine and he’s ready to play.

Petty was 32-of-48 (66.7 percent) for 426 yards with three touchdowns and one pick for a 106.8 rating in the preseason. Hackenberg was 42-of-74 (56.8 percent) for 372 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions for a 68.1 rating.

Bowles was asked what criteria he uses to assess a quarterback.

“Obviously, there’s accuracy, there’s turnovers, there’s intelligence, there’s toughness, there’s leadership," Bowles said. “You have a bunch of things at quarterback that you have to focus on."

Jets fans are more focused on who’s No. 2 rather than the five factors Bowles mentioned.

Are Petty and Hackenberg getting enough reps? Is Petty solidly in the No. 2 spot?

“I haven't counted reps and I know, ‘Yeah, you can,’ but you really don’t," Petty said. “Between scout team and everything else, you get enough reps, so the tough part is, or the professionalism is, you’ve got to know that game plan, just like Josh does or whoever the 1 is, and be ready when your time is called.

“That’s what you’ve got to do on your own time, and that’s part of the professionalism part of it. Reps are not. You’ve got to be ready to go."

To Petty, you’ve got to think of yourself as the No. 1