Florham Park, NJ - “It’s getting there. We’ve got a lot of room to improve, a lot to work on, but at the same time I feel good about where things are headed, I definitely don’t want to be content on where I’m at but I like where the direction is going,” said Petty of his performance at training camp during an interview with Jetsinsider.com on Saturday.
Petty saw plenty of action during the Jets’ first preseason game against the Detroit Lions, playing all but one offensive series. Petty looked decent at times during his time on the field, but at other times he had a little trouble reading the Lion’s defense which can be expected with a rookie quarterback.
“That part [reading defenses] I definitely got to get better at,” Petty said. “My head was kind of spinning because I was a little bit more amped up than I thought I would be [but] it’s all about settling down and every time I get in there it’s going to be better. I just have to keep telling myself it’s a process.”
The process of transitioning from being a good college quarterback to being an NFL quarterback is a challenging one but one advantage Petty has is the presence of Jets offensive coordinator Chan Gailey.
Gailey’s offense contains some of the same spread schemes that Petty was able to excel at during his time at Baylor University -- which according to Petty has helped ease his transition into the NFL.
“I think that’s been a huge blessing to be with him,” Petty said of working with Gailey. “Schematically what he’s looking for is a lot of the things we tried to do at Baylor. So in that aspect it’s definitely been an easy transition [into the NFL].”
Another presence who has helped ease Petty’s transition into the National Football League is starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick, who excelled in Gailey’s offense when they were together in Buffalo has served as a mentor for Petty.
“That guy is unbelievable he has been so much help. Day in and day out and just completely since I got in here has really opened himself up to any type of question stupid or not so he’s been a tremendous help to me,” said Petty of Fitzpatrick.
For his part, Fitzpatrick said Petty has the right demeanor and work ethic to become a productive quarterback.
“Bryce has thick skin, which I think is really important. He’s a guy that’s harder on himself than everybody else is so again something that’s very important
“He’s not ever going to be overwhelmed because he puts more pressure on himself than anybody else. And so he’s got the right characteristics and the right traits [and] he’s going to continue to work,” Fitzpatrick said of Petty.
With the injury to Geno Smith, Petty now finds himself as the backup quarterback behind Fitzpatrick. Head coach Todd Bowles described Petty’s position of being thrust into the role as backup quarterback as “trial under fire” something Petty agrees with.
“[It’s] Exactly that. It’s one of those things where you’ve got to get in there and try and produce. And you’ve got to make sure that you’re prepared and ready to rock-and-roll.
“I still approach each day like I had before except for now it’s a little more to it because I’m really one snap away [from becoming the starting quarterback],” Petty said.
While Petty may be one snap away from becoming the starting quarterback, he is just focused on improving day-by-day to make himself the best quarterback he can be.
“I try not to think about that. What I try to do is be a better quarterback today than I was yesterday and try to leave it at that.”