With the New York media still focused on the ongoing Ryan Fitzpatrick drama and Geno Smith gaining the most on-field attention during OTAs many fans are wondering why we aren't hearing more about how rookie quarterback Christian Hackenberg looks?
There's plenty of reports talking about Smith looking sharp and about Bryce Petty not looking sharp, but there's a very good reason why there's so little said about Hackenberg. We just haven't been able to see much of him. The Jets practice fields are setup, two next two each other and the media is placed along side on the practice field where the ones and twos do most of there work. Hackenberg has spent all of his time, except for one two-minute drill after last week's practice on that far field. From where the media is standing the first field of players and a giant tree obstruct our view of what exactly is happening on the far field. No one is ignoring Hackenberg, we just haven't been able to see him much.
But while the media hasn't been able to see much of Hackenberg, the coaches obviously have. Sometimes Todd Bowles and Chan Gailey don't get to see him live, but they always get to watch the tape and what they've seen is pretty much exactly what you'd expect from a rookie quarterback.
"Right now I expect him to look sloppy because again he's seeing a whole boat load of defenses that's coming at him daily and there's going to be a growth period," Bowles said. "No different than Geno and Fitz saw last year, as well as Bryce. So everything that Hack is seeing this year, he's seeing for the first time so better him see it now in the Spring and be more comfortable in the summer than vice versa."
When we have seen Hackenberg it's mostly exactly what you'd expect if you watched him in college, really impressive arm strength, throws a beautiful deep spiral, but he struggles with accuracy and consistency. Again, fairly common for a rookie and the Jets knew this when they drafted him but they believe they can tweak his mechanics to fix this problem.
"I mean as a quarterback you continue to work on your mechanics. You know first thing and then once you get the system down and you start playing a lot faster, and your accuracy becomes a lot better," Bowles said. "So he's in a progression stage right now. So to say that he's going to be accurate every time is a no. But he's not as off as we've seen him off and he's been grasping the system pretty good. And the new things that's getting thrown at him he learned from his mistakes. So he's got time to grow there."
The video included above is from the first day the media was allowed to attend the voluntary OTAs, the only day of OTAs Hackenberg spoke to the media. He will most likely talk this Wednesday but he will definitely talk again during next week's mandatory OTAs.
Chris Nimbley is the editor-in-chief of JetsInsider.com/NYJScout.com. He can be reached on Twitter (@cnimbley), or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org)