Christian Hackenberg feeling “different level of confidence” this year

Getty Images

The Jets are planning a three-man competition for their starting quarterback job and watching a battle between Josh McCown, Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg unfold probably isn’t the sort of thing most people would describe as thrilling.

One of those three players doesn’t share that feeling, however. Hackenberg said the competition will be “really exciting” and feels good about where he’s at as things start ramping up with organized team activities kicking off next week. The 2016 second-round pick also said he feels more comfortable than he did last year and that his confidence has ticked up as a result.

“Without a doubt, I think there’s a different level of confidence,” Hackenberg said, via “But I think that also goes back to [being in] Year 2. You’re more comfortable in the situation, more comfortable with the guys in the locker room, in the huddle. I think just that natural growth from a comfortability standpoint.”

Confidence is obviously a necessity for an NFL starter, but so is talent and Hackenberg never got a chance to show off how much he has during his rookie season as he remained on the bench all year. There were certainly doubts about it when he was coming out of Penn State, but his draft position and the lack of a clear starter should increase the likelihood of it being put to the test before the 2017 season is out.