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  1. Future employers beware: Ryan Fitzpatrick has been historically bad in 2016 At halftime of an eventual Monday night loss to the Indianapolis Colts, New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was pulled following a disappointing 5-for-12 showing that included just 81 passing yards and his 14th interception of the season -- tied for the second most of any QB so far this year. Fitzpatrick's 24.6 Total QBR against the Colts was his second-worst performance of the season (only his 5.5 against the Chiefs in Week 3 is worse), and also the second-worst of his two-season tenure with the Jets. Fitzpatrick has struggled all season and now has been replaced as the starting quarterback twice this season (the first time came after Week 6 when Geno Smith took over, before Smith's injury early in Week 7 necessitated a Fitzpatrick return). All this on the heels of a career year in 2015. What has happened to turn Fitz from the unquestioned starter on a 10-6 team to a twice-benched journeyman who will probably end up on his seventh team in 13 seasons next year? Interceptions The most noticeable issue facing Fitzpatrick is his poor interception rate. It isn't so much that the volume of interceptions is off the charts, but when you factor in his low number of attempts compared to QBs who have thrown a similar number of picks, his rate is downright alarming. In a season that is on pace to have the lowest percentage of passes intercepted in league history (2.1 percent, which would break the previous record set last season at 2.4 percent), Fitzpatrick has had 4.1 percent of his attempts picked this season, by far the highest rate of any qualified QB this season (the next-closest is the also-benched Case Keenum at 3.5 percent). This has occurred after back-to-back seasons in which Fitzpatrick he posted near-career-low interception rates of 2.7 percent in 2015 and 2.6 percent in 2014. This year the interceptions have also been especially costly in terms of expected points added. As we have mentioned in the past, not all interceptions are created equal. A deep interception on a third-and-long isn't as damaging as an interception on an early down near the goal line. If we take a look at the quarterbacks' portion of the EPA lost on their interceptions, nobody has been more damaging in aggregate than Fitzpatrick. ESPN Analytics Fitzpatrick has thrown five interceptions in the red zone this season; no other quarterback has thrown more than two. The five red-zone picks are tied for the second-most a QB has thrown in a season since 2001, behind only Jay Cutler's six in 2009. Last season, Fitzpatrick threw only one red-zone pick. Pressure problems Another area where Fitzpatrick is down big from 2015 is his performance while pressured. Last year he compiled a 71.5 raw QBR while pressured, the second-best mark in the league (the NFL average last season was 28.9 while pressured), but this season he has a 12.2 raw QBR while pressured, 29th out of 31 qualified quarterbacks. (The league average is 34.7 this season.) A look at Fitzpatrick's week-by-week QBR numbers in 2016: Fitzpatrick image by AP Photo/Kathy Willens For more from ESPN Analytics, visit the ESPN Analytics Index. >
  2. -- The San Francisco 49ers and New York Jets have long since been removed from the NFL playoff picture, leaving Sunday's matchup at Levi's Stadium as little more than a factor in the 2017 NFL draft order.The 3-9 Jets come to town on a short week after playing on Monday night against Indianapolis and must travel across the country for this one. The Niners, meanwhile, are looking for any possible way to break their franchise-record 11-game losing streak. ESPN Jets reporter Rich Cimini offered a look at six Jets to watch in this matchup : ESPN Stats & Information OFFENSE QB Bryce Petty – Coach Todd Bowles announced after Monday night’s 41-10 loss to the Colts that Petty will start the final four games, replacing Ryan Fitzpatrick. Petty, a 2015 fourth-round pick from Baylor, has one start and mop-up assignment to his credit. He has completed 32 of 59 passes for 317 yards, with two touchdowns and three interceptions. Petty has an NFL arm and he’s reasonably mobile, but he has a long way to go in terms of reading defenses. His future with the team is up in the air; this is strictly a four-game audition. WR Brandon Marshall – He’s having one of the least productive years of his career. Marshall hasn’t exceeded 70 receiving yards in seven games, managing only one touchdown during the span. With only 711 yards total, he likely will fall short of 1,000 for only the third time in his 11-year career. He was beast last season, re-writing the franchise record book for receivers, but he has slowed down at 32. He probably will be cut or traded after the season. His age and 2017 cap charge ($7.5 million) don’t fit with the anticipated youth movement. RB Matt Forte – Forte was defying Father Time for a good chunk of the season, but he has slowed down. The former Chicago Bears standout, who turns 31 on Saturday, has managed only 52 rushing yards in the past two games. Oddly, this came after the bye week. So much for rest and healing. With an inexperienced quarterback in the lineup, the Jets will keep it simple, which probably means a heavy dose of Forte. DEFENSE DT Leonard Williams – There aren’t many worthy candidates, but Williams probably is the MVP of the team. He’s the only member of the highly touted defensive line playing up to expectations. Williams, the sixth overall pick in 2015, leads the team with 6.5 sacks. He’s big, strong and surprisingly quick, capable of lining up anywhere along the defensive line, including nose tackle. The Jets need a few more blue-chip talents like Williams. CB Darrelle Revis – The once-great Revis is just another guy. Revis, 31, has regressed significantly, ranking 86th among 122 qualified cornerbacks, according to Pro Football Focus. Once regarded as a premier bump-and-run corner, he plays mostly “off” coverage, giving huge cushion to receivers. He says it’s because his surgically repaired wrist doesn’t allow him to jam receivers at the line; others say he’s worried about getting beat deep. Either way, it hasn’t been pretty. DE Muhammad Wilkerson – This has been a disappointing year for Wilkerson, who signed a five-year, $86 million contract in July. Coming off his first Pro Bowl season, he has only 2.5 sacks and hasn’t been nearly as disruptive as he was a year ago. He has been hampered by a surgically repaired ankle, but he says he has felt better in recent weeks. He showed some signs of life on Monday night, so maybe he’s finding his groove again. >
  3. -- Hoping to see Christian Hackenberg at quarterback before the season ends? Two words of advice: Chill out. New York Jets coach Todd Bowles confirmed Tuesday he has no plans to play the rookie in the final four games. Bryce Petty will start (you knew that already) and Ryan Fitzpatrick will be the No. 2 for at least a couple of weeks, according to Bowles.Bowles left open the possibility of elevating Hackenberg to the No. 2 role for the final two games, depending on how he performs in practice, but he was clear that the remainder of this crazy bad season will be devoted to "Project Petty." That means no snaps for Hackenberg. "Not unless Bryce gets hurt," Bowles said. "Right now, I do not see him getting any playing time." The Jets have been consistent since the start of the season, saying this is a redshirt year for Hackenberg. At the same time, it's fair to wonder, "Why?" Other rookie quarterbacks have played this season, and we're not just talking about the obvious example, Dak Prescott. Jacoby Brissett went 1-1 in two starts for the New England Patriots and Cody Kessler posted a 92.6 passer rating in eight starts for the Cleveland Browns. They were drafted in the third round. Hackenberg was a second-round pick. If I'm owner Woody Johnson, I'm asking my football people, "Why can't we get our guy on the field?" "He hasn't taken the reps and the other guy has taken all the reps," Bowles said. "To throw him in there right now would be a disservice to the kid." Why isn't Hackenberg getting reps? Well, this goes back to the four-quarterback issue in training camp. The Jets decided to keep four (let's not forget about Geno Smith), knowing there wouldn't be enough reps for the third and fourth guys. Petty moved up when Smith was injured, leaving Hackenberg as the odd man out. He hasn't had the chance to develop. This is what you call a self-fulfilling prophecy. >
  4. "Which Jets should be playing these final 4 games ?".. >
  5. After the Jets got hammered 41-10 by the Colts on Monday night, there was a bunch of awkward confusion surrounding their quarterback swap. Coach Todd Bowles said in his postgame press conference that second-year pro Bryce Petty would replace Ryan Fitzpatrick as the starter for the final four games of this 3-9 season -- and that this decision was made before Monday's game.Then Fitzpatrick addressed reporters and seemed surprised by the news. He said the Jets' offensive coaches just told him about his benching in the locker room. On Tuesday, Bowles admitted he could've handled this situation better. It probably would've helped matters if Bowles talked to Fitzpatrick about his demotion before Fitzpatrick stepped behind a podium for his press conference. "I hadn't talked to him," Bowles said. "The coaches told him. I had been meaning to talk to him and I got tied up with a few things. I'll make sure we'll talk [Wednesday] morning." Could Bowles have done things differently, in retrospect? "I probably could've, and he tried to cover for me," Bowles said. "But I had a lot on my mind. I got some things off my chest, and it kind of went over the wrong way differently, and I'll talk to him [Wednesday]." (Tuesday was the players' off day.) Bowles on Tuesday clarified other points regarding the Petty-Fitzpatrick swap.He said he decided two or three weeks ago that the Jets would turn to Petty for the final four games if they were out of playoff contention. But if they remained in contention, Fitzpatrick would've continued to start. The Jets obviously blew their playoff hopes -- essentially albeit not mathematically -- with a 1-5 start. But they were not officially eliminated from playoff contention until after they lost to the Colts. And Bowles said following the game that even if the Jets beat the Colts, he still would've gone with Petty for the final four weeks.The Jets would've needed a miracle at 4-8 to make the playoffs. So this is really just semantics, regarding "in contention" versus "out of contention" here. "We knew if we were out of contention and out of the running, in my mind, I told the coaches that we would give [Petty] the last quarter of the season to try and make progress," Bowles said.He had maintained all along that Fitzpatrick gave the Jets the best chance to win. So has the Jets' approach now shifted from winning in 2016 to developing for the future? "It's trying to win, and it's trying to see what I have at quarterback with Bryce," Bowles said of his dual mission for these final four games.He isn't concerned about Petty being ready to play Sunday at the 49ers."He's been getting starter's reps the past couple weeks, so he's had enough now to where he's ready to go in and play some," Bowles said. "After getting a game under his belt, and he'll take [more] starter's reps, he should be a little more comfortable week by week." Bowles clarified that Petty's starter's reps in recent weeks were just the first-team practice snaps that the backup quarterback usually gets -- not an increased number. Obviously, that number will significantly increase now. >
  6. -- The New York Jets will travel to the West Coast this weekend to take a look at two potential quarterbacks of their future -- Bryce Petty and Colin Kaepernick. Once considered the San Francisco 49ers' franchise quarterback, Kaepernick likely will be available in the offseason. He has the ability to void his contract, making him a free agent. It's hard to say if he'll be on the Jets' radar, but they have to consider every option, don't they? Their game prep, coupled with live scouting, will give the Jets a better feel for Kaepernick. Kaepernick, 29, who began the season on the bench, is 0-8 since replacing Blaine Gabbert. He's actually had a couple of good games, but was pulled from Sunday's loss to the Chicago Bears. On Tuesday, he was named the starter for Sunday's game at Levi's Stadium. The 49ers (1-11) have lost 11 straight. Here are six players to watch, courtesy of ESPN 49ers reporter Nick Wagoner : ESPN Stats & Information OFFENSE TE Vance McDonald -- McDonald already owns career highs in receiving yards and touchdowns, and though they are modest numbers (391 yards and four touchdowns), it's been enough for the Niners to re-examine where he fits in the long term. McDonald didn't do much against Chicago last week but no 49ers player did. If he's going to continue building the case for a contract extension, he'll need to finish strong. RB Carlos Hyde -- After recovering from a shoulder injury, Hyde has strung together three pretty solid weeks, averaging more than 4.5 yards per carry in each of the past three games. He's at 686 yards for the season and has a shot at his first career 1,000-yard season. The Jets' run defense will be a tough test along the way. WR Torrey Smith -- It's been a disappointing season for Smith, who remains on pace for career lows in catches and yards. Smith returned from a shoulder injury against Miami and made a tough catch for a touchdown, but he also missed a pass that turned into an interception. Against Chicago, he went without a catch and said after the game all the losing and lack of production has him struggling to sleep at night. DEFENSE S Jaquiski Tartt -- The Niners lost starting safety Eric Reid for the season to a torn biceps in his right arm against New England three weeks ago. Tartt has been starting in Reid's place since. Tartt has six tackles in two starts replacing Reid and hasn't offered any splash plays. The Niners don't ask as much of Tartt as they did Reid, but they could use more production from him over the final four games. OLB Ahmad Brooks -- The 49ers' pass rush has been mostly non-existent this season, but the one player who has offered at least some production is Brooks. He has five sacks and has, at minimum, shared a sack in each of the past three games. The Niners could use more if they're going to land that elusive second win. DL DeForest Buckner -- Buckner has played more snaps (739) than any interior defensive lineman in the NFL despite missing a game because of injury. The results have been mixed, though Buckner has flashed recently as a pass-rusher. For the season, he has 54 tackles, three sacks and two fumble recoveries. This is the time of year a rookie wall would be in play, but it's especially worth watching Buckner given his workload. >
  7. Niners to start Colin Kaepernick vs. Jets after benching -- Quarterback Colin Kaepernick's benching lasted all of one quarter. San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Curtis Modkins announced Tuesday that Kaepernick will remain in the starting lineup this week against the New York Jets. Kaepernick was benched in favor of Blaine Gabbert for the fourth quarter of Sunday's loss to the Chicago Bears."Kap is going to be the starter," Modkins said. "And we'll go from there. We just decided during the game to try to see if Blaine could give us a spark." Kaepernick had the least-productive game of his NFL career in the 26-6 loss to Chicago, going 1-of-5 for 4 yards and taking five sacks in three quarters before coach Chip Kelly opted for Gabbert.After the game, Kelly indicated that the move probably wasn't permanent, saying it was made in an effort to ignite the stagnant offense."I thought we needed a spark on offense and needed to get something going," Kelly said Sunday. "[We] knew we were going to be throwing every down, so give Blaine a shot. That was it, nothing more." Modkins made the announcement Tuesday in part because Kelly is not in California. He is attending the funeral of his father, E. Paul Kelly, in Maine and is expected to rejoin the 49ers this week.Modkins said no consideration was given to taking a look at Christian Ponder, the only one of the three quarterbacks on the roster not to play this season. Kaepernick replaced Gabbert in Week 6 and has started all seven games since, throwing 10 touchdown passes and three interceptions for the Niners (1-11). >
  8. Jets' Sheldon Richardson a no-show -- no tackles, plenty of pine time A look back at the best and worst performances in the New York Jets' 41-10 lossto the Indianapolis Colts, with a warning: Some of the material may be too graphic for the weak-hearted : SIX DOWN Sheldon Richardson, defensive end : On the Colts' third play, Richardson fell to his knees while rushing against left tackle Anthony Castonzo. It was reminiscent of Michael Oher's breakout game in "The Blind Side," the scene in which an undersized, second-stringer crumples meekly to the ground after barely getting touched by Oher. For Richardson, it was a bad omen. He played only 44 of 73 snaps, his lowest percentage of the season, and wasn't credited with a single tackle. That's right, his name didn't appear on the stat sheet. His only contribution was a dumb personal-foul penalty. Basically, he was benched in the second half, appearing in only six of 36 plays. This was a continuation of a disappointing season for Richardson, whose future with the team is murky. rest of above article : >
  9. Jets are really bad, and it's time to turn up the heat on Todd Bowles -- One ... two ... three ... four ... five ... six. Six straight years out of the playoffs for the New York Jets. Shame on them. Not that there was much suspense, but they were mathematically eliminated from contention on Monday night, losing 41-10 to the Indianapolis Colts at MetLife Stadium. It ties the second-longest postseason drought in the team's post-merger history, equaling the 1992-1997 slump but still well short of the 11-year dry spell from 1970-1980.Instead of fading quietly to also-ran status, the Jets crashed loudly into irrelevance with a performance that should put coach Todd Bowles on the hot seat. Yeah, it was that bad. It was the Jets' most lopsided loss under Bowles, whose career record dropped to 13-15. "For the first time this year, we got our ass handed to us," said Bowles, adding it was "very troubling." The Jets (3-9), losers of four straight, weren't ready to play, not at all. There were busted coverages, three interceptions, three personal-foul penalties, dropped passes, offensive-line breakdowns, you name it. Bowles tried to create a spark by benching ineffective QB Ryan Fitzpatrick at halftime, but the bullpen call to Bryce Petty didn't accomplish anything but placate a small but angry crowd. After the game, Bowles announced Petty will start the final four games. Nothing worked. The only thing missing was a Butt Fumble. In two Monday night appearances this season, the Jets have been outscored, 69-13. They're a prime-time laughingstock. Bowles always says they must learn how to finish games. This week, they forgot to start -- a stinging indictment of Bowles, who admitted, "I don't think we had a lot of effort." Whoa, that's a pretty harsh assessment for a coach to make, but Bowles was disgusted by this performance, threatening lineup changes. Other players echoed his sentiment, questioning effort. That's never a good sign. "All of it falls on me," Bowles said. "I'm the head coach." Owner Woody Johnson, who watched from his private suite with vice president-elect Mike Pence, must be wondering if Bowles is the right man to lead his team. Johnson, who fired Rex Ryan only two years ago, is looking to create continuity. The owner probably doesn't want to dump Bowles, a good man with a strong football pedigree, but Bowles is giving him the ammunition.The Jets have a short week to prepare for the woeful San Francisco 49ers (1-11). Bowles needs a win in the worst way, although he insisted he's not worried about his job. "You know your job is in jeopardy when you take one of these jobs," he said, repeating his stock answer. The defensive-minded Bowles presided over a unit that allowed four touchdown passes by Andrew Luck, who had open receivers all night. The Jets didn't bother to cover tight end Dwayne Allen, who scored on 7- and 21-yard receptions to give the Colts a 14-0 lead.Luck began the week as the NFL's most-sacked quarterback but was sacked only once by the Jets, who failed to generate heat with their front four. The high-priced defensive line was a no-show. Blitz? Bowles has turned into an overly cautious play-caller this season, and he didn't blitz nearly enough. The defense has underachieved from Day 1. Bowles also has mishandled the quarterback situation, deciding too late to sit down Fitzpatrick (5-for-12, 81 yards, one interception). He kept saying Fitzpatrick gave them the best chance to win, but here's the thing: They weren't winning. Fitzpatrick is 2-8 as the starter.As ESPN analyst Jon Gruden noted a few times during the telecast, Petty isn't ready for the starting job. He proved it, throwing two interceptions on bad decisions. He was thrown into a tough spot, trailing 24-3 at halftime. He threw almost every down -- good experience -- managing one touchdown pass. He showed his inexperience, finishing 11-for-25 for 135 yards. He was victimized by a few drops, but managed a 40-yard scoring pass to Robby Anderson. That made it 41-10. "This was a stomping, a beat down, insert any other synonym -- ass-whupping," tackle Ben Ijalana said. "It's like we got jumped." >
  10. Jets make a clumsy QB exchange, but it's the right move ... finally -- Right decision. Curious timing. Coach Todd Bowles made the correct call Monday night by handing the New York Jets' lost season to neophyte quarterback Bryce Petty, who will start the final four games. Bowles should've done it a couple of weeks ago -- let's call it a delay-of-name penalty -- but at least this gives them a month to take a look at Petty, who will get a chance to convince team brass he can be their starter in 2017. That Bowles chose to make the announcement after his most lopsided loss in two years raised a few eyebrows. This is a deliberate coach who usually takes his time with quarterback decisions, but there he was at the podium, blurting out the headline to a stunned group of reporters.It happened so fast after the 41-10 loss to the Indianapolis Colts that the two quarterbacks -- Petty and the demoted Ryan Fitzpatrick -- found out only moments before their separate postgame news conferences. Fitzpatrick appeared caught off-guard by the questions, leaving some to wonder if he was blindsided with the news by reporters. If that's how it went down, it was an amateurish way for the team to treat a respected veteran. Back in the locker room, the players had no idea about the quarterback change. This wasn't exactly the smoothest transition of power, but what would you expect from the Jets on a night in which they did everything wrong?It makes you wonder if Bowles, whose job security has become an issue, tossed it out there to calm the vultures. For weeks, the fans and media had been clamoring for Petty. Now they have their man. Maybe this was Bowles' attempt -- or the team's attempt -- to change the narrative after a humiliating loss in prime time. He insisted the decision had been made before the game, but he still could have waited until Tuesday to announce it. "We could have won 45-0 and he was going to start the last four games," Bowles said. "That's the slot we had penciled in for him. That's a good time to take a look at him." A 3-9 coach with a four-game losing streak usually doesn't go to a newbie quarterback unless he feels confident about his job security. Does Petty give Bowles a built-in alibi? Maybe, maybe not. If they finish 3-13 -- an eight-game losing streak -- it'll look real bad, especially if they're non-competitive.Their remaining opponents are the San Francisco 49ers (1-11), Miami Dolphins(7-5), New England Patriots (10-2) and the Buffalo Bills (6-6). The Jets should be able to steal a couple of games, even with Petty, who has one career start. Looking at the big picture, this was the best move for the organization. Fitzpatrick had a nice run last season but couldn't sustain it with a one-year, $12 million contract. He's a lame-duck quarterback, knowing he'll be elsewhere next season. He handled it well, acknowledging, "I didn't get it done."No, he didn't. On Monday night, Fitzpatrick completed only five of 12 passes for 81 yards with an interception in a dreadful first half. He got benched at halftime, deservedly so. Bowles explained the decision by saying it was a prequel to "Project Petty." "The plan was for him to start the last four games anyway, so we just started a half early," the coach said. Basically, Bowles raised the white flag on the night the Jets were officially eliminated from the playoffs. The challenge is to keep his players motivated, because efforts like Monday night's are unacceptable. Maybe Petty, with a full week of practice as the starter, can provide a spark. This team needs it, badly. >
  11. With starting safety Calvin Pryor nursing a concussion, Rontez Miles sits on deck for Monday’s game against the Colts.Predominantly a special teams ace, Miles has made an impact with his limited snaps on defense. Against the Rams, Miles was integral in a goal-line stand early in the first quarter as he drove back TE Lance Kendricks for no gain on second and goal from the 2. Last Sunday against the Patriots, the Jets flooded the field with defensive backs and Miles became part of a three-safety look that included Pryor and Marcus Gilchrist . “I’m way more patient,” Miles said this week. “I understand the game, the small things. Last year was more of a fire reaction — I see, go get ball. This year I’m able to see it sooner. I’m able to calm down, which allows me to be less antsy on the field. Everybody knows I’m jittery, I’ll be ready to make a play. I’m way more calm, there’s more patience in my game. My man coverage is better, too.”Those improved cover skills will be tested again Monday night as three of the Colts’ top five reception leaders include a pair of tight ends (Jack Doyle and Dwayne Allen) and a running back (Frank Gore). However, the Cal (PA) product feels prepared to line up against whomever after the valuable experience against the Patriots in Week 12.“Last week I shadowed [Rob] Gronkowski and covered [Martellus] Bennett and their running backs,” he said. “That’s what they want me to do.”Miles, donned an “energizer bunny” by special teams coordinator Brant Boyer, may have a flare for the bright lights. The 6’0”, 203-pounder’s first start came in primetime and No. 2 could be a couple of days away with Pryor being ruled out Saturday.Last season, Miles made his debut on Thursday Night Football against the Bills in Week 10, playing 98% of the defensive snaps and racking up seven total tackles, three of which were for loss. While he said nothing will compare to his first professional start, he’s excited for another matchup under the lights. Miles has 23 defensive tackles this season and he needs just two to set a personal best.“It’s Monday night so we know everyone is watching,” he said. “As Coach Bowles would say, ‘It’s the only show in town.’ I think everybody is pretty balanced where we need to be mentally.” >
  12. END OF FITZMAGIC IN NEW YORK IS NIGH Divorce seems almost imminent for the Jets and Ryan Fitzpatrick. One personnel evaluator told Mike Sando he thinks the veteran will be a backup somewhere else in 2017. Best QB options (Insider) >
  13. Bryce Petty isn't going to make any promises even though he'd love to tell you that there's no better man for the job than him. He isn't going to assuage your fears that the Jets’ never-ending search for a franchise quarterback will never end. He isn't going to pretend that he can see the future, because he knows damn well that the future, his future, might not be with the team that drafted him two years ago. Petty wants badly to be the Jets’ franchise quarterback, the leader to take them to a place they haven't been since man fist walked on the moon, but his crystal ball is blurred. "You know what? I don't know," Petty told the Daily News in a quiet moment about being the future leader of this star-crossed franchise. "I can only control so much. I hope so. I really do. I love it here. I love this team. I love Coach. Shoot, it'd blow my skirt up if that was the case… I'm going to work to make that happen. You got to go out and get it." Petty will watch Monday night's game against the Colts from the sideline. Todd Bowles' curious decision to bench the second-year quarterback after his first career start against the Rams in Week 10 for veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick has led some to wonder whether the brain trust already has made up its mind about the young signal caller. Maybe, they figure, the kid just doesn't have the goods. Bowles & Co., after all, are privy to mountains of more evidence than the rest of us. They have lived the Bryce Petty Experience for a year-and-a-half. Surely, Bowles would have handed over the reins to Petty by now if he looked ready in practice. "I take my bumps, I take my bruises, but I do good things too," Petty said about his practices. "The good thing about what coach does is A) he's not going to put anybody in position to fail and 2) he's a really good evaluator of talent and knowing when you're ready. I don't know if it's as much as I've had bad practices, but maybe I'm not ready yet in his eyes." "It's Coach's decision regardless if you're stinking it up or if you're playing well," Petty added. "I don't question that part of it like, 'Man, am I not showing enough?' Because I feel like I am. I've shown a lot of growth. I'm getting better every day. So those are things that I need to pull from and not worry about that doubt or fear that I'm not doing this or that." There's no denying that Petty has made important strides since being plucked from Baylor's spread system. His rookie season was an invaluable learning experience even if he suffered at times from information overload. "I think I was learning so much that not a whole lot of information sunk in," Petty said. "I was just playing slow." He's picked up the pace in the past year, but the pivotal question remains: Is he learning fast enough for the Jets to justify investing time in him beyond this season? Offensive coordinator Chan Gailey's recent admission that "every young player needs all of the work they can get" and "it helps to play in games" makes plenty of sense, so why aren't the Jets giving Petty that chance right now given that this 3-8 team is out of playoff contention? Gailey believes that practices give coaches a "75-80 percent probability" of knowing what a player will become. Games bump it up to "90-95 percent," according to the offensive play caller, so why not eliminate as much doubt about Petty's prospects by giving him a chance to showcase his ability in that setting? Although Petty admitted that he hasn't mastered Gailey's playbook, he's confident that he's trending up. "I feel like every time I get in there, I get better," Petty said. "I just need at-bats." When he'll step up to the plate again is anyone's guess. While rookies Carson Wentz, Jared Goff and Dak Prescott get invaluable snaps with their respective teams, Petty continues to wait with no real commitment from the Jets. "Everybody has a different route," Petty said. "Fortunately for me, I got to learn a lot last year. Because I can honestly tell you that I don't know if I was ready had I been called on last year. I feel so much more comfortable this year. Now I'm just hungry for more." He speaks with a maturity of a 10-year veteran. His respect for Fitzpatrick, who has been a friend, mentor and teammate, is evident. He has tried to help rookie Christian Hackenberg, too. He's fueled by competitiveness rather than anchored by bitterness. "Every day you come in here you got something to prove," Petty said. "Because they're looking for the next (quarterback). There's no time to settle. There's no time to get complacent, because they're just going to keep rolling them in and out. So you take it personal on a competitiveness level … not on a I-can't-stand him-and-I-don't-even-know-him level. That's not fair." Petty beats everyone to the team facility at 6 each morning (even though he'll never volunteer that information). He wants it work. He wants it to work here. But is there enough time? He felt like he was on the roster bubble in the preseason. Will these final five weeks of the regular season be the final five weeks of his Jets career? What's a large enough sample size for a young quarterback trying to prove his worth? Two games? Three? Four? More? "Who knows? I don't know if there's a number on it," Petty said. "It's practice. It's who you are every day in here. It's the culmination of a lot of things. We'll see… I'm going to work to do everything I can to make it a point to be here for as long as they let me." The Jets need to give him a fair chance in real games to show if he belongs. >