Quarterback change creates major challenges for Bryce Petty, Jets

With Josh McCown sidelined the rest of the season with a fractured left hand, the New York Jets have named Bryce Petty their new starting quarterback. A few thoughts on what this means for Petty and the Jets:

1. Let's talk big picture. For Petty, it's probably his last shot to show the organization he's worthy of being part of the future -- if not as the starter, then as a backup. He received a late-season audition in 2016, but he played poorly and couldn't finish the assignment because of a season-ending shoulder injury in Week 16. This is his third year; it's time to show something.

2. Petty still hasn't won the trust of coach Todd Bowles, who, in case you haven't figured it out, prefers his quarterbacks to be seasoned. Asked Monday if Petty has made strides since last year, Bowles said, "I don't know. Mentally, I know he has come a long way. He's learned a lot from Josh, just standing on the sideline, him and [Christian Hackenberg]. Until he plays physically, we won't know that answer."

3. Petty figures to have chemistry issues with the receivers, simply because he hasn't had a chance to play or practice with them. Unlike Hackenberg, he received no first-team reps in the preseason. Once the season began, Petty and Hackenberg yielded to McCown, who received the vast majority of the practice reps and didn't miss a game rep until Sunday in Denver. Petty has shared some success with Robby Anderson -- their connection dates to training camp, 2016 -- so maybe he can rekindle that relationship.

4. This will be Petty's first real shot to play in a West Coast offense, a quarterback-friendly system that should create easy reads for him. That has been Petty's hang-up, knowing where to go with the ball. He's a product of the Baylor system, a fast-paced attack that doesn't require the quarterback to think on his feet. The transition has been difficult for Petty, who swears by the West Coast system. On Sunday, he struggled in 21 snaps (2-for-9, 14 yards) after replacing McCown, but he should be better with a week of practice. Bowles said, "He's been taking notes on the sideline."

5. The Jets will miss McCown's leadership dearly. Center Wesley Johnson said McCown became the team leader on the first day of the offseason program, when he organized a players-only practice. Bowles said of McCown, "His leadership meant a lot from the time he walked in the door, always doing the right thing and saying the right thing and helping everybody on the team ... not to mention the fact that he made plays on the field that helped us out and wound everybody up, especially the new receivers." Petty can't replace McCown from an intangible standpoint.

6. You might want to wish Petty some luck; he'll need it. The Jets' final opponents -- New Orleans Saints, Los Angeles Chargers and New England Patriots -- are ranked No. 11, No. 2 and No. 4 in scoring defense, respectively.

7. Can Mr. August become Mr. December? Petty kills the preseason. Over three summers, he has completed 91 of 149 passes (61 percent) for 1,167 yards, seven touchdowns and two interceptions -- roughly the equivalent of four full games. His most notable performance came last August, when he nearly rallied the Jets from a 29-3 deficit against the New York Giants. A knee injury forced him out of the game with the Jets trailing 32-25, and they wound up losing 32-31. Unfortunately for Petty, he has played almost exclusively with backups in the preseason, creating doubt about his ability to do it against starting-caliber competition.