A look at the Jets back-up QB situation

There is too much being made about the Jets lack of experience at back-up quarterback

What were these people watching the last two years?

It's perplexing why some writers are saying the Jets hurt their backup quarterback position by letting Vinny Testaverde go.

Check out this from espn.com:

"When your two backup quarterbacks have never taken a snap before in the NFL, you have to cross your fingers if you're Herman Edwards. Chad Pennington fell victim to the preseason injury bug last season, but New York was able to plug Vinny Testaverde behind center without too many concerns. Not so this season with Brooks Bollinger and Ricky Ray, the No. 2 and No. 3 quarterbacks, respectively."

He was able to plug Vinny Testaverde behind center without many concerns? What was this writer watching? With Pennington out, the Jets got off to an 0-4 start last year with Testaverde. The year before that the Jets got off to yet another poor start with Testaverde, leading to the insertion of Pennington.

Here is what was written in one New York paper recently -"(Jets GM Terry) Bradway will be open-minded about signing a veteran backup quarterback. For now, he and the coaches are comfortable with Brooks Bollinger and Ricky Ray, neither of whom has taken an NFL snap, behind Chad Pennington."

Who are these great NFL veterans that are available now? Can't think of any. Plus, a lot of teams, in the salary cap era, go with backups sans experience. It's a must with the cap issues a lot of teams are facing. The Tennessee Titans backup - Billy Volek - is an undrafted free agent. He came in last year with no prior regular season action, and played well. Remember how well St. Louis' Mark Bulger played when he was plugged in early in his career? Kurt Warner could't get his job back. And lest we forget New England's Tom Brady, a sixth round pick, who was inserted into the lineup his second year and proceeded to lead the Patriots to the Super Bowl, and two World Championships in three years.

Brady was picked in the same round as Bollinger. Jets quarterback coach/offensive coordinator Paul Hackett is secure with Bollinger and Ray competing for the backup job. Hackett was a big fan of Bollinger at Wisconsin, and pushed for the Jets to pick him. He feels Bollinger, who led the Badgers to a Rose Bowl, is a perfect fit for the West Coast offense with his accuracy, mobility and ability to read defenses. Don't hold his shaky performances last summmer in the preseason against him. He had horrendous pass protection, and took an awful beating.

And Ray joins the Jets after starring in Canada, where he led the Edmonton Eskimos to a pair of Grey Cup appearances. They won the second one. Last year, in leading the Eskimos to the championship, he threw 35 touchdowns to just 13 picks. He has a great feel for the game, and reads defenses extremely well. Before heading to Canada, he spent some time with the San Francisco 49ers, so he has a background in the West Coast system.

The bottom line is that both Bollinger and Ray are much better fits for the West Coast offense than Testaverde. So you could make the argument the Jets are more secure in the backup job now, then they were the last two years.

The feeling here is that with Bollinger and Ray, the Jets actually have a pair of #2 quarterbacks, and should be in good shape in case of an injury. Both players were big-time winners before coming to New York.

This story originally published on JetsConfidential.com

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