Jets in no hurry to make call on QB

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - SPORTS - By Den­nis Waszak Jr.

Todd Bowles isn’t ex­actly in hurry-up mode when it comes to de­cid­ing on his start­ing quar­ter­back.

Ryan Fitz­patrick or Bryce Petty? Well, the New York Jets coach will make the call on who’ll be un­der cen­ter against New Eng­land on Nov. 27 when the team re­turns from its bye­week break next Mon­day.

“We haven’t got­ten there yet,” Bowles said dur­ing a con­fer­ence call. “We’ve got a week to go for that. We’re still eval­u­at­ing ev­ery­body.”

Petty made his first NFL start Sun­day in place of Fitz­patrick, who is re­cov­er­ing from a sprained knee. The sec­ond-year quar­ter­back was 19 of 32 for 163 yards with a touch­down, but

also tossed an in­ter­cep­tion with just un­der two min­utes left in the Jets’ 9-6 loss to the Los An­ge­les Rams.

That dropped New York to 3-7, with its play­off hopes now barely a flicker.

Still, Bowles is stick­ing with his phi­los­o­phy of play­ing the quar­ter­back that gives the Jets the best chance to win. That means Bowles isn’t nec­es­sar­ily look­ing to give Petty ex­tended play­ing time just to see if he could be the quar­ter­back of the fu­ture.

“At this point, not right now,” Bowles said. “I mean, he played OK (Sun­day), but he’s still got a lot of things to learn.

You don’t learn un­less you play, but at the same time, we’re still try­ing to win games, too.

“So, we’ll make that de­ci­sion as the week goes for­ward.”

Bowles said the play­ers will prac­tice Tues­day and then have the rest of the week off.

The coach­ing staff will have meet­ings Wed­nes­day and then take off un­til next Mon­day. As for the quar­ter­back de­ci­sion, Bowles will talk to his staff and then give both gen­eral man­ager Mike Maccagnan and owner Woody John­son a heads up on where the sit­u­a­tion stands.

And, the player he chooses might not nec­es­sar­ily hold the job from here on out.

“Go­ing for­ward, it all de­pends on the play and the health and ev­ery­thing else of ev­ery­body,” Bowles said. “So, it could change, but it could stay the same, as well.”

Bowles is in a dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tion, know­ing the Jets are now sim­ply play­ing out the sea­son and Fitz­patrick is un­likely to be back next year. Geno Smith, out for the year with a knee in­jury, is sched­uled to be­come a free agent.

That leaves just Petty and rookie Chris­tian Hack­en­berg as the quar­ter­backs who likely will re­main on the ros­ter next off­sea­son. And the coach said Hack­en­berg, a sec­ond-rounder from Penn State, is “not in the top two right now” when it comes to the quar­ter­back sit­u­a­tion.

But Bowles also has to tread lightly, re­al­iz­ing that look­ing to­ward the fu­ture at this point sends a mes­sage to his play­ers that this sea­son is al­ready a wash.

“With the eval­u­a­tion process, there comes a point in the fu­ture of an or­ga­ni­za­tion, to­ward the end of the sea­son, where you try to see things if they go right here and there,” Bowles said.

“But it’s al­ways a tough de­ci­sion one way or the other.”

Fitz­patrick sprained his left knee at Mi­ami on Nov. 6 and was lim­ited in prac­tice all week while split­ting first-team snaps with Petty. Bowles said it would be a game-time de­ci­sion, but then de­cided Satur­day night that Petty would start against the Rams.

“He was get­ting bet­ter, but he wasn’t well enough on Satur­day, in my mind, to even try to do it Sun­day,” Bowles said.

Petty pro­vided an early spark, com­plete with a stand­ing ova­tion from the MetLife Sta­dium crowd as he took the field.

He drove the Jets 99 yards on their sec­ond pos­ses­sion, fin­ish­ing with his first NFL TD pass with a lit­tle raz­zle-daz­zle on a toss to Bran­don Mar­shall, who flipped it back­ward to Bi­lal Pow­ell for a 4-yard score.

But New York’s of­fense was mostly quiet after that and the pos­i­tive buzz was si­lenced by the time Petty was picked off by Alec Ogle­tree.

The Jets also missed out on what ap­peared would be an easy touch­down just be­fore half­time when Petty couldn’t con­nect with a wide-open Robby An­der­son.

Bowles said Petty over­threw the ball slightly, but An­der­son also slowed a bit on his route.

“He was calm and he was poised when he was out there,” Bowles said of Petty.

“He threw the deep ball well. He un­der­stood his reads.

He went where it was sup­posed to go.

He hur­ried up some things and that’s go­ing to hap­pen when a first-time starter comes out there.

He hur­ried some throws and he missed a cou­ple of reads as well.

“But, for the most part, other than the one turnover, he played OK.”

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