When examining the unfortunate state of the Jets, you’d have to assume that after another loss, the witch hunt begins. “Fire Bowles, Adams can’t cover, McCown needs to be benched” – Get ready to hear it all.
The real, and most important question has to be that of the McCown conundrum however.
Should a 38 year old be the starter for a rebuilding team?
The topic, which is discussed every week in the Jets Twitter world, has quite a simple answer: Yes, Josh McCown is and should continue to be the starting quarterback of the New York Jets.
Behind McCown on the depth chart are two players, both young and inexperienced. Most importantly neither is viewed as a true impact player. By playing Bryce Petty or Christian Hackenberg, coach Bowles and the front office would only be doing a disservice to the rest of the team. The developmental process would slow for the majority of players. McCown’s most important responsibilities are keeping the offense moving, distributing the ball to the young weapons, and keeping our promising defense off the field.
If I were to ask Jets fans, “which players on the current roster are true building blocks?” I highly doubt that any would actually select Petty or Hackenberg. The future starting quarterback is not currently on the roster.
History is Telling
Recent Jets history gives us the best snap shot of how poor quarterback play can impact team development. Behind Geno Smith and Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Jets have not produced any young talented weapons. Many feel that Bilal Powell is the future half back of the club yet fail to realize he is 29 years old. The history of running backs nearing the 30 year old mark is not good. Robby Anderson also never showed the player he could be with Fitzpatrick. His weak arm strength did not allow Anderson to show his sub 4.4 speed as we’ve seen it this season.
The real future stars, Anderson, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Leonard Williams, Marcus Maye, Darron Lee and Jamal Adams, must be given every opportunity to grow and continue to develop. It is especially important for the defensive players. They need to be involved with meaningful game day snaps. Opposing teams gaining plus field position regularly gives our young secondary little to no chance of being impactful. It’s likely pretty difficult to grow as a player when your opponent is starting near mid-field after another three and out (see Jets’ 2016 season for more info).
Jets coaches and front office staff are breaking down film and interacting with players every day. When the top of the hierarchy believes that Petty and or Hackenberg give this team a better chance to win, I’m all for a change. Until then, let’s enjoy what’s been competitive football, and yes, that means with a 38 year old quarterback.