FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The New York Jets’ starting quarterback job is up for grabs.
That means a three-man competition this spring — and maybe summer — between Josh McCown, Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg, with the winner under center for the regular-season opener. At least that’s the company line, as expected, at the moment.
“We’re giving everybody a great opportunity to show themselves,” new offensive coordinator John Morton said Tuesday, “and see if they can be the starter.”
Coach Todd Bowles wouldn’t put a timetable on selecting a starter, adding that the competition is “wide open” and might not be settled until training camp.
“Obviously, you want to see them start to separate at some point,” Bowles said. “It’s going to come down to playing in games. As far as getting more reps in practice as we go, we’ll see what happens.”
During the first practice of organized team activities, McCown predictably got the most work with the starting offense in team drills. Petty got some snaps, too, while Hackenberg worked on the second field with backups.
That’s all by design, Morton said, and is no reflection on who might be the front-runner in the competition.
“We have a plan, so guys will be rotating,” Morton said. “The quarterbacks will be rotating, getting the same amount of reps throughout the week.”
MORE: McCown Says He’s Ready To Do Anything Necessary To Help Jets
Still, McCown would appear to be the favorite to be the one leading the offense on Sept. 10 at Buffalo. The veteran quarterback, who turns 38 on July, signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Jets in March after spending the past two seasons in Cleveland.
New York marks the 10th NFL franchise McCown has spent time with, and he’s largely considered an ideal mentor and “bridge” quarterback at this point in his career.
“Any time someone refers to you as ‘great’ at something, as long as it’s positive, I don’t think it’s bad,” McCown said. “I understand what they’re saying and certainly looking back, having played on this many teams, nobody obviously sits down and says, ‘Hey, I want to play for 10 teams in my career and move all over the place.’
“At the same time, I’ve played 15 years and I’m very proud of that. This is the journey that was set out before me, so I want to take my experiences and be able to hand them to those guys as best I can.”
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