Jets con­sider changes af­ter de­feat to Car­di­nals

Re­plac­ing Fitzpatrick at quar­ter­back among op­tions af­ter de­feat to Cards

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - By Dennis Waszak Jr. AP Sports Writer

Af­ter a 28-3 loss to Ari­zona left them 1-5, the Jets ex­plore per­son­nel changes in a bid to get on track.

Changes could be com­ing for the New York Jets.

Coach Todd Bowles was sched­uled to meet with his staff — as he does the day af­ter ev­ery game — on Tues­day night, and switch­ing things up at var­i­ous po­si­tions was on the table. In­clud­ing at quar­ter­back. “We’re go­ing to talk about more than that,” Bowles said dur­ing a con­fer­ence call Tues­day, “but there’s a pos­si­bil­ity ev­ery week that there will be some changes made player-wise.”

Ryan Fitzpatrick was pulled in the sec­ond half of the Jets’ 28-3 loss at Ari­zona on Mon­day night and re­placed by for­mer starter Geno Smith.

Fitzpatrick has an NFL-lead­ing 11 in­ter­cep­tions, and Smith added one of his own in mop-up duty against the Car­di­nals. Bowles said in his postgame news con­fer­ence that the Jets would stick with Fitzpatrick for Sun­day’s game against Bal­ti­more.

Bowles said he re­vis­ited his postgame com­ments re­gard­ing the quar­ter­back situation, but in­sisted that he wants to meet with gen­eral man­ager Mike Maccagnan and his coach­ing staff be­fore an­nounc­ing whether or not he was mak­ing a change.

“Af­ter the game, it’s al­ways go­ing to be sta­tus quo,” Bowles said dur­ing the con­fer­ence call, “be­cause I’m never go­ing to tell the me­dia any­thing be­fore I meet with my coaches and my GM and the rest of the staff.”

But many fans and me­dia won­dered if it might be time to look to­ward the fu­ture and see what Bryce Petty, a fourth-rounder last year, or rookie Chris­tian Hack­en­berg, a sec­ond-rounder, can do with the Jets off to a 1-5 start.

Petty just re­turned to prac­tice last week, though, fol­low­ing a pre­sea­son shoul­der in­jury, and Hack­en­berg has

been limited to scout team snaps.

“It’s pos­si­ble,” Bowles ac­knowl­edged. “We’ve still got some stages to go be­fore we get to that point, but it’s def­i­nitely pos­si­ble.”

Fitzpatrick was re-signed to a one-year, $12 mil­lion deal on the eve of train­ing camp, a move most Jets play­ers cel­e­brated af­ter the veteran quar­ter­back set a fran­chise record with 31 touchdown passes and led New York to a 10-6 record and within a win of a play­off spot. But Fitzpatrick has had a rough go of it

this sea­son, in­clud­ing a six­in­ter­cep­tion per­for­mance at Kansas City on Sept. 25. Mean­while, Smith has tried to stay pa­tient, but he told an ESPN re­porter be­fore the game Mon­day night that he was get­ting “antsy” while be­ing stuck on the side­line as the team strug­gles.

“I don’t have any thoughts on a backup player say­ing any­thing,” Bowles said of Smith’s com­ments. “They’re back­ups for a reason and if they get a chance to play, they bet­ter prove them­selves wor­thy of play­ing, re­gard­less of who the per­son is.” Smith had a good start to his first ac­tion of this sea­son in the fourth quar­ter, con­nect­ing on his first four passes. But on thir­dand-3

from the Car­di­nals 40, Smith fum­bled as he was sacked, but the Jets re­cov­ered. He was in­ter­cepted by Tyrann Mathieu on the next play.

“He did show some prom­ise when he was in there,” Bowles said. “He un­der­stood the game plan. He did good for the drive he was in there.”

Bowles ac­knowl­edged that his coach­ing staff will re­main un­changed for now.

“We’ve had suc­cess with the coaches and play­ers that we have,” he said. “We’re not hav­ing suc­cess right now, in the past four weeks. Some peo­ple get rid of peo­ple and have suc­cess, but some peo­ple get rid of peo­ple and have fail­ure.


Jets quar­ter­back Ryan Fitzpatrick loses the foot­ball as he is hit by Car­di­nals de­fen­sive tackle Robert Nkemdiche, left, and de­fen­sive end Calais Camp­bell dur­ing the first half of Mon­day night’s 28-3 loss to Ari­zona in Glen­dale, Ariz. The play was ruled an in­com­plete pass.

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