FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — If the New York Jets are serious about giving Christian Hackenberg a legit shot at the quarterback job, they should shake up the practice rotation this week and let him start the first preseason game.
So far, they don’t appear serious about it.
Through seven training camp practices, Hackenberg has worked almost exclusively with the second-team offense, ahead of Bryce Petty and behind Josh McCown, who has been handled like the presumptive starter.
There has been no rotation, not even split of the reps. This quarterback competition is as open as a bank on Sunday.
The time to give Hackenberg some work with the starters was the first week of camp, when they were experimenting with personnel and moving people around. This week, they will cut back on that and start focusing on a set lineup, according to coach Todd Bowles.
It sounds like things will remain status quo at quarterback.
From all indications, the Jets are grooming Hackenberg to start the season as the No. 2 quarterback. Perhaps they want to build him up gradually and let his confidence grow before throwing him into the fire. If that’s the game plan, that’s not how they sold it to the public. They presented it as an open competition.
OK, let’s not quibble over semantics.
If Bowles starts McCown on Saturday night against the Tennessee Titans — it’s trending in that direction — he should pull him after a series and hand the game to Hackenberg. They know what McCown can and can’t do; they need to get a long look at Hackenberg. Let him play until the fourth quarter. Heaven knows, he needs the game experience. His NFL resume consists of 76 preseason snaps last summer, all of them against backups and backups to the backups.