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Prediction for Jets QB Christian Hackenberg: Plenty of growing pains

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Prediction for Jets QB Christian Hackenberg: Plenty of growing pains

 

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A West Coast-style offense doesn't appear to be a great fit for the skills of Christian Hackenberg, who again has to learn a new offense. Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire

A look at what's happening around the New York Jets:

1. Are you ready for some football? Nearly five months after one of the worst seasons in team history, the Jets return to the field Tuesday for the start of OTAs. They have 10 noncontact practices during the next three weeks, followed by a mandatory minicamp. The big story is the quarterback competition -- specifically Christian Hackenberg, who has been removed from bubble wrap.

This will be a slow process for Hackenberg, who, quite frankly, isn't a great fit in John Morton's offense -- a West Coast-style system, assuming he sticks to what he knows.

The West Coast scheme is predicated on timing and accuracy, especially on short passes. Accuracy is an issue for Hackenberg, whose adjusted completion rate (counting drops, spikes, etc.) was 64 percent in his final year at Penn State, according to Pro Football Focus. That ranked 120th in the nation. The previous year, he was 104th. I talked to an opposing scout who studied him in pregame warmups for one game last season and was taken aback by how many off-target passes he threw.

This is Hackenberg's fourth system in five years, dating to his freshman year, so it would be understandable if his head is spinning. He studied West Coast concepts in the offseason under his personal coach, the California-based Jordan Palmer, which should help. But now he has to perform in the crucible of competition. The Jets aren't expecting miracles; they just hope he shows improvement.

Coach Todd Bowles would like to identify a presumptive starter before training camp, and the reason is because he believes in giving one quarterback the starter's share of the reps to prepare for the regular season. He's calling this an open competition, but it would be an upset if Josh McCown doesn't prevail over Hackenberg and Bryce Petty. It's hard to imagine one of the young quarterbacks overtaking the grizzled vet, especially with the limited amount of practice time.

The more realistic question for Hackenberg: Can he beat out Petty for the No. 2 job?

2. Fitz gets (most of) his Bucs: Ryan Fitzpatrick bet on himself when he accepted a one-year, $12 million contract from the Jets last July, rejecting a three-year, $24 million deal on the table. Now that he has a new job, we can tally up the totals.

Fitzpatrick's new contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is for one year and $3 million, according to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter. Assuming he collects the full $3 million, it would bring his 2016-17 earnings to $15 million. If he had taken the Jets' three-year offer, it would have been $18 million over the two years, assuming he remained on the team. If they cut him, he still would've had a $3 million guarantee in 2017.

In the end, Fitzpatrick recouped the $3 million guarantee he left on the table.

3. Going-away present: Fitzpatrick's deal with the Bucs has no bearing on the Jets' salary cap. In fact, he will count more on the Jets' cap ($5 million) than the Bucs' cap ($3 million). File that under "Life in the Salary-Cap Era."

In case you're wondering about that $5 million ... it's the pro-rated portion of the $10 million signing bonus he received last July. To reduce the cap numbers, the Jets wanted to spread it out over two years with a two-year contract, which voided after the season.

4. In search of sacks: Jordan Jenkins has made a concerted effort to improve his pass-rushing skills. The second-year outside linebacker spent 2 1/2 months in Atlanta working with former NFL player Chuck Smith, who has been described as the sack whisperer. Smith, who recorded 58.5 sacks from 1992 to 2000, runs a pass-rushing camp that attracts many current players.

"I was never really taught pass-rushing at any level, high school on up," Jenkins said last week. "I didn't realize how much I was missing until I started working with Chuck."

The Jets are counting on Jenkins to make big strides in his second season. Known more as a run defender than a pass-rusher, he managed only 2.5 sacks as a rookie, but they came in the final four games. He hopes to build on that momentum. He's also excited to be working under new outside linebackers coach Kevin Greene, a Hall of Fame player.

"He's done it; he's got the jacket," said Jenkins, alluding to the Pro Football Hall of Fame blazer. "When you think of pass-rushing and you think of an outside linebacker, you think of K.G., Kevin Greene. Watching some of his old clips, he's a guy that did it. He wasn't a finesse guy; he was a power guy. That's something I get excited about. He physically dominated cats back in his time. You just want to soak up as much info as you can."

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Because Calvin Pryor has a relatively low cap charge, it makes sense that he'll return for a fourth season. Jeff Haynes/AP

5. Slamming the Louisville slugger: NFL Films analyst Greg Cosell, one of the smartest Xs-and-Os guys in the business, shared his thoughts on the Jets' decision to draft safeties Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye and how it might have an impact on incumbent Calvin Pryor, a holdover from the previous regime.

"I didn't love Pryor coming out of Louisville, and obviously they don't, either," Cosell told "The Midday 180" on 104.5 The Zone in Nashville, co-hosted by ESPN's Tennessee Titans reporter Paul Kuharsky. "Todd Bowles is a defensive guy where safeties are important in his defense. In his mind, Pryor clearly was not up to the task. When you draft safeties, one and two, and you have a lot of needs on the team, you're basically telling your present safeties they're not good enough."

Marcus Gilchrist already has been released. In my opinion, it makes sense to keep Pryor as insurance, especially because he has a relatively low cap charge ($2.7 million). Adams and Maye might have high ceilings, but it's a big ask to expect two rookies to click from Day 1 at such a cerebral position.

 

6. Tuna helpers: Bill Parcells' influence is spreading in the AFC East. Former Jets scout Brian Gaine, who got his start under Parcells, is the new vice president of player personnel for the Buffalo Bills. Gaine started with the Jets (2000), and followed Parcells to the Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins. He worked most recently with the Houston Texans. Former Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum, another Parcells protege, is the Dolphins' VP of football operations. And, of course, there's New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick, whose ties to Parcells need no explanation.

7. Boss Jet in holding pattern: As of mid-week, President Donald Trump had formally nominated nine people for ambassadorships and not one of them was named Woody Johnson, according to USA Today. Trump announced in January he was planning to make the Jets' owner the ambassador to the United Kingdom, fueling speculation on the immediate future of the Jets. Four months later, nothing has changed.

8. The last word: Defensive leader David Harris on second-year linebacker Darron Lee: "I expect him to grow into the player everybody expected him to be coming out of Ohio State. ... He has turned the corner as far as seeing things. He's starting to get it and I think he's going to have a huge year this year."

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Quote

He studied West Coast concepts in the offseason under his personal coach, the California-based Jordan Palmer, which should help.

Ya think maybe "personal coach" Palmer is a total boob? What exactly does he teach?

• Attempted 18 passes in 7-year NFL career: 0 starts, 66 yds, 2 INTs, 0 TDs. 28.7 Rtg

• 2007 drafted by Redskins (6th Rnd) in April, was cut in Sept

• 2008 signed by Bengals to back up brother Carson. Was cut in Aug 2011

• 2012 Jaguars. Signed in May, cut in Aug

• 2013 Bears. Signed in Aug, cut two weeks later. Resigned in Oct to back up Josh McCown. Cut in Aug.

• 2014 Bills. Signed in Aug, cut four days later

• 2014 Titans. Signed in Dec, gone in one month

 

 

 

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22 minutes ago, jetspenguin said:

This is where he lost his credibility "studied him in pregame warmups for one game last season"

He should have looked at all the great college tape Hackenberg put together instead

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Im ready I dont know about the rest of you guys but I'm ready to root for Christian Hackenberg or Bryce Petty whoever the starter may be, my gut tells me its gonna Hackenberg. 

We have had so much bickering, arguing,debating the QB position here to last most of us a lifetime. 

 

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55 minutes ago, jetrider said:
 

Ya think maybe "personal coach" Palmer is a total boob? What exactly does he teach?

• Attempted 18 passes in 7-year NFL career: 0 starts, 66 yds, 2 INTs, 0 TDs. 28.7 Rtg

more passes than hackenberg will throw

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Seems the sports media money is on M Cown starting at least a goodly portion of the season. Least shocking news possible. As I've said many will be very disappointed how 2017 is going to play out, in AB starting and in Jets draft position come 2018. Prepare yourself for the worst possible combo-outcome.

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The NY Jets QB saga is a media whore's dream. 

When will it finally end and we get a franchise QB. 

Hard as hell to swallow the Jets signing the bottom feeder QB's in the NFL year after year, GM after GM,head coach after head coach. 

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it's all what's between hack's ears. he comes in and can get the team moving without making stupid mistake and turning the ball over he'll probably do well. imo the players have no allegiance to any of the current qb's so it's up to him to win them over and i don't think it's necessarily going to be because he shows better accuracy or long ball than mccown.  those are nice attributes but the first order is to execute the plays.  he does that and gets the players on his side and it could be an really interesting season.

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1 hour ago, jetrider said:

Ya think maybe "personal coach" Palmer is a total boob? What exactly does he teach?

• Attempted 18 passes in 7-year NFL career: 0 starts, 66 yds, 2 INTs, 0 TDs. 28.7 Rtg

• 2007 drafted by Redskins (6th Rnd) in April, was cut in Sept

• 2008 signed by Bengals to back up brother Carson. Was cut in Aug 2011

• 2012 Jaguars. Signed in May, cut in Aug

• 2013 Bears. Signed in Aug, cut two weeks later. Resigned in Oct to back up Josh McCown. Cut in Aug.

• 2014 Bills. Signed in Aug, cut four days later

• 2014 Titans. Signed in Dec, gone in one month

Is this meant to be sarcasm?  Jordan Palmer is a pretty well respected QB coach. You don't have to be a good player to be a good coach.  Guys like Palmer who (I'm assuming) had to work tirelessly just to refine every aspect of his game just to be able to overcome a lack of physical talent/natural ability often make for the best coaches.

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4 minutes ago, rangerous said:

it's all what's between hack's ears. he comes in and can get the team moving without making stupid mistake and turning the ball over he'll probably do well. imo the players have no allegiance to any of the current qb's so it's up to him to win them over and i don't think it's necessarily going to be because he shows better accuracy or long ball than mccown.  those are nice attributes but the first order is to execute the plays.  he does that and gets the players on his side and it could be an really interesting season.

Exactly Hack and Petty are Jets guys......McCown is an outsider newcomer without a lucky season behind him like Fitzpatrick the allegiance here amongst players we will be with one of the 2 Hack or Petty the way it should be. 

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1 minute ago, Lil Woody said:

Is this meant to be sarcasm?  Jordan Palmer is a pretty well respected QB coach. You don't have to be a good player to be a good coach.  Guys like Palmer who (I'm assuming) had to work tirelessly just to refine every aspect of his game just to be able to overcome a lack of physical talent/natural ability often make for the best coaches.

Please give more specifics and less hypotheticals

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Hackenberg wasn't ready last year, anyone who watched him in camp saw that.  Out of every 4 throws
he made:

- One sailed over receivers heads
- One "dirted" at receivers feet
- One "wobbled" out of his hand
- One was an NFL caliber throw

So it's going to be very evident if he's improved in OTA's, because the bar he set last year
was so low.  Time is going to be the true measure of Hackenberg's "improvement".  Can he build
on his improvement from OTA's to mini-camp to training camp to pre-season games to the actual 
season?

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2 hours ago, jetrider said:

Doesn't matter what anyone thinks in May. When Denver signed Sanchez he thought he was the starter before he was cut in Sept.

And that was a mistake

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3 hours ago, jetrider said:

Please give more specifics and less hypotheticals

Why don't you give specifics on his coaching ability? Belicheck and Parcels must have been amazing players - funny you never hear about their playing days. <_<

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3 hours ago, Greensleeves said:

Why don't you give specifics on his coaching ability? Belicheck and Parcels must have been amazing players - funny you never hear about their playing days. <_<

I don't need examples of great coaches that never or hardly played. That doesn't mean Jordan Palmer is one of them. 

Besides, a great HC requires different skills than say a QB technique specialist would or should have. Compare apples to apples.

Just because some great coaches were unsuccessful players, it doesn't mean all unsuccessful players make great coaches.

I asked what exactly does he teach and all I got was a pile of hypothetical whiffle-whaffle. I need real evidence.

Hint: “Nice guy” and “Carson Palmer’s brother” don’t count.

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7 hours ago, jetspenguin said:

This is where he lost his credibility "studied him in pregame warmups for one game last season"

I don't see why you would say that at all?

The only  games the guy got to dress were at the end of the year.  Another teams scout made the observation and pre games warm ups are pitch and catch, no defense, it should be a can't miss easy peasy hit all throws.  If the guy is throwing terribly then it is pretty telling and very relevant.

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11 hours ago, KRL said:

Hackenberg wasn't ready last year, anyone who watched him in camp saw that.  Out of every 4 throws
he made:

- One sailed over receivers heads
- One "dirted" at receivers feet
- One "wobbled" out of his hand
- One was an NFL caliber throw

So it's going to be very evident if he's improved in OTA's, because the bar he set last year
was so low.  Time is going to be the true measure of Hackenberg's "improvement".  Can he build
on his improvement from OTA's to mini-camp to training camp to pre-season games to the actual 
season?

I was thinking about this the other day,  He had such a hard time just throwing the ball like an NFL QB in camp last season that any significant improvement should be evident within just a few minutes.

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the good news on Hack....

He will lead us to the promised land....

We are going to win the Tankbowl

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13 hours ago, KRL said:

Hackenberg wasn't ready last year, anyone who watched him in camp saw that.  Out of every 4 throws
he made:

- One sailed over receivers heads
- One "dirted" at receivers feet
- One "wobbled" out of his hand
- One was an NFL caliber throw

So it's going to be very evident if he's improved in OTA's, because the bar he set last year
was so low.  Time is going to be the true measure of Hackenberg's "improvement".  Can he build
on his improvement from OTA's to mini-camp to training camp to pre-season games to the actual 
season?

Explain to me how is it possible a guy whose mechanics are terrible and everyone who sees him says is highly inaccurate runs to the same ****ing guy in the offseason to help fix him? Jordan Palmer obviously did a terrible job so he goes to him again. Makes sense..

 

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