As the Jets approach the 2018 season perhaps the biggest question surrounding the locker room is who the QB 1 will be. The Jets started the offseason by re-signing veteran quarterback Josh McCown to a one year deal, followed by acquiring Teddy Bridgewater, then drafting rookie phenom Sam Darnold with the third overall pick. They then capped it off by releasing project Christian Hackenberg.
Cutting Hackenberg was the first move Gang Green made towards shaping their QB room. Many question whether or not Hackenberg should have been cut, pointing out that perhaps he has more value than Bridgewater. I believe the Jets were completely in the right in cutting Hack and holding onto Bridgewater. Do they look like idiots releasing a quarterback who they drafted in the 2nd round, treated like a project and never played an NFL snap? Yup. But they just have to bite the bullet as Bridgewater offers way more value. He has shown the ability to win games in the NFL and perform at an above average level. He may not play, but it sure is nice to have a guy like that around. Now onto the 3 candidates to take over QB 1:
The veteran having re-signed with the Jets might be considered the front runner to be the QB 1 at this point in time. One can say if McCown would have played all 16 games last year he could have thrown for 3000 yards and 20+ touchdowns. McCown’s play last year was more than anyone expected and he showed great leadership and presence in his first stint with the Jets. He seems to be well liked in the locker room and the team seems to trust him as a starting quarterback.
You practically know what you are getting with Josh McCown at quarterback, you are getting a strong arm field general who puts your team in a position to win. The question is whether or not this is what the Jets are looking for? Sorry Jets fans, but I do not believe McCown has what it takes to lead his team through a tough AFC into the playoffs. Could he provide competitive football? Absolutely. Could he provide a playoff berth? Never has.
Teddy Bridgewater signed on with the Jets in the offseason primarily as an emergency backup plan in case the draft did not work out for the Jets. Having lucked out with Darnold falling to the number 3 pick, the Jets are left with a crowded QB room. Bridgewater can absolutely be a starting quarterback in the NFL.
In his stint with the Vikings he was a playoff quarterback leading his team to an 11 win season. The question with Teddy is whether or not he is healthy enough to return to that form. He strived in OTA’s and raised a lot of people’s eyebrows. He showed flashes of the pre-injury riddled Teddy Bridgewater and made a lot of people think this guy can actually be pretty good. Bridgewater has constantly been in the weight room and has captured the trust of many of his teammates.
I am on the Teddy Bridgewater train. Darnold is not going to be ready to start week 1 as he has learning to do. Let McCown coach him up on the sidelines while we watch Bridgewater keep up in a playoff race. Bridgewater has proven success in the NFL, he even has playoff experience. He offers the more potential upside than McCown, why not let him play? We are not aware of his ceiling unlike McCown’s, Jets fans buckle up because hopefully we will find out.
I am one of the biggest Sam Darnold fans around but I do not feel that the Jets will start him week 1. Nowadays if you draft a potential star quarterback in the first round he rarely starts off the season as the QB 1.
The organization feels he needs to learn and adjust to the game at the NFL level. This is does not mean that I do not believe that Darnold can start week 1 and be successful. I just picture the Jets being extremely cautious and strategic with when to put him in.
Darnold possesses the size, abilities and mentality to be a QB 1 in the NFL. He has great pocket awareness and a very strong arm, reminding me of Ben Roethlisberger. He will be a very good starting quarterback for the Jets one day, just not against Detroit on Monday night. Do not worry Jets fans, he will be put in eventually and emerge as a potential rookie of the year candidate.