Jets consider changes after defeat to Cardinals
Replacing Fitzpatrick at quarterback among options after defeat to Cards
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.