Bowles denies report that Hackenberg is awful in practice

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The Jets spent a second-round draft pick on quarterback Christian Hackenberg and then never put him on the field all season, even as they struggled with injuries and poor play from their other quarterbacks. That led to questions about how bad Hackenberg must look in practice, not to get a chance to show what he can do in a game.

Compounding those questions was a Sunday report from ESPN, attributed to an unnamed Jets coach, that Hackenberg is so inaccurate in practice that he “couldn’t hit the ocean.”

Jets head coach Todd Bowles, however, said it isn’t true that Hackenberg is flailing in practice.

Not at all,” Bowles said. “There’s nothing wrong with Christian. He just needs to play.”

Hackenberg shrugged off the report.

“I really don’t have any opinion on it,” Hackenberg said. “A coach has never come up and said anything to me directly. So, until he does that, I’m really not too concerned about it.”

All we know for sure is that the Jets never thought it was in their interests to put Hackenberg on the field, even in a season in which the quarterback situation couldn’t have gotten much worse. No matter what Bowles says publicly, that’s not a good sign.

58 responses to “Bowles denies report that Hackenberg is awful in practice

  1. Whats the HC supposed to say?
    “Yeah, the guy the GM reached for in the 2nd round is a bust. We tried to talk him out of it, or at least wait until the 4th round, but he went ahead and did it.”

    Hackenberg has mechanics problems and teh Jets didn’t work with him on them. They will do so off season.
    What are the chances they fix them in 4 months?
    Zero.

    They should have worked with him on his mechanics from day one, staring in June.

  2. This is why teams don’t let QBs sit anymore, and it’s hurting the sport. The expectations for a rookie QB have become so unreasonable, even though college football is breaking further away from what QBing in the nfl is like. Now when a team tries to prepare a rookie QB by sitting them, the media and fans criticize the team.

    The Jets decided to sit Hackenberg the full year, and that was decided before the first practice. Kudos to management for sticking to their guns. Goff was also not ready, but the Rams gave into pressure, probably against their better judgment.

  3. He lost his confidence in the pocket, you can see it during the final preseason game. Hackenberg is 21 and needs to develop better mechanics. The Jets drafted him several rounds early and deserve criticism for that but ultimately QB needs to be viewed through a long term lens. I don’t think he would have been any worse than Goff if he played and that cost the Rams 5-6 high picks. If Hackenberg doesn’t develop better mechanics this offseason then it’s probably a wasted pick.

  4. Gailey told Bowles he was going to retire before the season started, why would you throw Hackenberg out there under Gailey to learn a system that will be completely different in 2017? Jets fans are frustrated by the red shirt season but I get the thought behind it. This is a coach using who’s trying to cover his behind by saying “I have nothing to work with it’s not my fault!” Due to the impending changes. I feel bad for this kid, the media and fans are piling on him and pointing to Penn States success without him but they don’t look at how his offensive coordinator at the time literally went from a pass happy offense to a run heavy offense, while changing Hackenbergs plant foot week after week which led to his mid season firing. We simply don’t know what this kid is going to be but a lot of his flaws like foot work, throwing motion, and release can be fixed with the proper coaching. He can read a defense, he is a leader he stayed at Penn State when no one else would, and when he was in the proper system he produced. Can we give the kid a chance before sending the lynch mob at him?

  5. zaphod424242 says:
    Jan 3, 2017 2:54 PM
    O’Brien coached him at PSU and didn’t want him for the Texans. Guess he knew something.

    He knew that he was obligated to play Osweiler because Houston gave him 72 million and already had qbs on the roster. It had nothing to do with Hackenberg. Guess you didn’t know that

  6. I’ll take “When the statement the team releases seems to contradict their actions.” for 500 Alex.

  7. Hey Jets fans, you don’t know what you don’t know. Maybe he needs more time, maybe be ill never get it. That’s why you have coaches. Oh I forgot, Jets fans know everything !

  8. He wasn’t that great at Penn State and a lot of folks would be honest and say that to you.

  9. If O’brien wanted him, he never would have even had a chance to get him because of how early in the draft the Jets took him.

  10. The proof is in the pudding. He could of played week 17. He didn’t. He is awful in Bowles’ eyes.

  11. Jets fans aren’t frustrated with the red shirt season, they are frustrated with blowing a 2nd round pick on a speculative project QB, one that should have been drafted in the 4th
    round or later.

    Jets fans wanted to hear that he was improving in practice, instead they are thinking he’s another draft bust.

    There is no way he can fix his bad mechanics in 4-5 months and be ready for 2017.
    He will not be ready in 2017.

    Hopefully the GM is fired after 2017 unless he pulls a rabbit out of the hat like the Seahawks did when they drafted Russel Wilson.

  12. bencoates57 says:
    Jan 3, 2017 3:03 PM
    Trade him to the Redskins for 2 first rounders.

    Yeah, that makes sense. When was the last time the Jets saw the playoffs, or even smelled them?

    That’s what I thought.

  13. In spite of trying every year the Jets haven’t drafted a decent QB since Joe Willy.

  14. I wouldn’t have signed Hackenberg as a free agent, much less drafted him in the 2nd round. I don’t understand what some of these scouts are looking at. Obviously, they don’t either. Hackenberg was horrible in college. The teams that are out there looking for GMs better make sure whoever they hire knows how to scout QBs.

  15. zaphod424242 says:
    Jan 3, 2017 2:54 PM
    O’Brien coached him at PSU and didn’t want him for the Texans. Guess he knew something.

    By the time the draft rolled around, Texans management had already given Brock Osweiler a $72 million dollar contract. Pretty sure they weren’t going to use a high pick on another QB.

    Also, O’Brien does not have final say on personnel matters.

  16. “He just needs to play”. From the same guy who a week earlier said no good could come from playing Hack in the final game of the season.

  17. I didn’t realize there were so many QB coaches available for hire. I hope all of you have submitted your resumes for consideration for any open positions in the NFL. You are all shoe-ins.

  18. @intrafinesse

    I get what you are saying but when you have Ryan Fitzpatrick, Geno Smith, and Bryce Petty ahead of you on the depth chart in a red shirt year it’s hard to gauge how good you really are on the practice squad. How do we know if this leak is even true? He started actually practicing when Petty was injured..how can someone say he “regressed” when he hasn’t actually taken reps in practice up until two weeks ago. I’m not a fan of Hackenberg I agree, he was taken too early based on his final years in college. But, everyone loved this kid up until Bill O’Brien bolted and PSU got hit with serious sanctions, which forced them to put converted D-lineman and tight ends on the offensive line which led to him being the most sacked QB in college football. Not every QB has to be lights out in college football to be a good player. I’m not making comparisons but look at Marino, Montana, Brady, all guys who were a victim of circumstance in college.

  19. zaphod424242 says:
    Jan 3, 2017 2:54 PM

    O’Brien coached him at PSU and didn’t want him for the Texans. Guess he knew something.

    _______________________

    The only thing that’s a fact is that O’Brien didn’t want him in the 2nd round. Maybe he had him at #199 on their board?

  20. Assuming Maccagnan is responsible for drafting him. He should be fired for that one move alone. Hackenberg was terrible his last three years at Penn St. and anyone with a brain would have known that he was a huge reach in the second round.

  21. nycdf says:
    Jan 3, 2017 3:48 PM
    I didn’t realize there were so many QB coaches available for hire. I hope all of you have submitted your resumes for consideration for any open positions in the NFL. You are all shoe-ins.

    Nope. Were just people with common sense. Something your GM is clearly lacking

  22. I’m a PSU fan and I can tell you Hackenberg was nowhere near a 2nd rounder. He might have been 5th rounded. The kid just didn’t develop into a top NFL prospect after his first year. Be it changing coaches, or whatever…it just didn’t happen.

  23. OK here is a Big IF:
    IF the Jets were smart, they would trade Bowles & Hacky for some picks.

    Bowles is terrible as a HC.

  24. Houston gave him 72 million and already had qbs on the roster. It had nothing to do with Hackenberg. G

    You know o brien benched your 72 million dollar buddy, right? Guess he didn’t have to do anything

  25. *5 Jets coaches dismissed, OC Chan Gailey retires

    I know it is easy to take cheap shots when you’re on your way out the door, but given this and the Jets QB situation all year long, there has to be some truth to it — If Hackenberg was overflowing with talent, wouldn’t this be the situation to put him? Wouldn’t the OC look at Hackenberg and think “hey maybe I’ll come back for another year” as opposed to “I can’t wait to get out of here before I’m scapegoated too”?

    What is even more telling is that the Jets still can’t find their “franchise guy” — I would argue that the front office has no idea how to evaluate QB talent, let alone any talent

  26. At least they didn’t blow a 2nd round pick on a KICKER that wasn’t accurate in GAMES, never mind practice.

  27. “Not at all,” Bowles said. “There’s nothing wrong with Christian. He just needs to play.”

    Well—–da coach sure covered that glitch, eh!

  28. “He’s fine, but our receivers are a bunch of idiots that run around like drunken chickens. Wait, let me rephrase that.”

  29. “When was the last time the Jets saw the playoffs, or even smelled them?”

    When Mark Sanchez was their quarterback. He’ll be available if they want him back.

  30. Wasting time and resources on a guy who can’t play is a bigger sin than admitting you wasted a draft pick. Then again the Jets look clueless and I expect them to keep 4 QBs again next year.

  31. “There’s nothing wrong with Christian. He just needs to play.”

    If only someone in a position of authority could have given him a set or package to work with and inserted a little more week after week to give him some snaps. This is the definition of a wasted season.

  32. He doesn’t have to confirm it. Just look at Penn State with that little guy replacing him in the lineup with much of the same supporting cast, not to mention that they gave the job back to Fitzpatrick like 3 times after Geno who is also terrible and after Bryce Petty who is also terrible. All of that, and he couldn’t get 1 snap for a coaching staff that didn’t know if they would come back when they entered this month with just 3 wins. Speaks volumes.

  33. Better take charge of your staff, Bowles. Going out and ratting to the media behind your back.

  34. “Listen, we’re talking about practice, not a game, not a game, not a game, we talking about practice.”
    Allen Iverson 2002

  35. riraider,Hackenberg was a 2nd round pick, not a 1st overall pick like jamarcus Russell. I know that much.

  36. CharlietheCharger, dude there is a charger fan talking crap about another team. Now that takes Balls.
    There is only one thing worse than the Charger franchise and thats it’s fans.
    Hello L. A.

  37. Whatever you think of Hackenburg, there is no question the Jets knew their season was over weeks and weeks ago and yet continued to play Fitz who was terrible and definitely not going to be on the team next year.

    I can’t imagine any scenario where that made any sense.

  38. “Bowles denies report that Hackenberg is awful in practice”

    If he ever puts him in a game, he’ll be able to more accurately say, “He’s awful ALL the time.”

    Saw almost all of his PSU games and never once saw why anyone, let alone several talking heads called him “Top 5” kind of stuff.

    Perhaps they were looking ahead to the next batch of major busts?

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