A persistent rumbling has lingered throughout training camp and the first half of the preseason, as it relates to the quarterback decision for the Jets. And, if anything, the noise is growing as Week One approaches.
The Jets can go with two different approaches. They can throw rookie Sam Darnold onto the field, having him take his lumps (and lose some games) as he gets toward his ceiling, wherever it may be. Or they can go with one of the veterans — Josh McCown, who has yet to play in the preseason, or Teddy Bridgewater, who has played and played well — and try to win as many games as they can, in the hopes of contending for the postseason in a conference that isn’t nearly as top heavy as the NFC.
The thinking is that the coaching staff wants a veteran, because winning games will better secure the future for Todd Bowles and his lieutenants, and that the front office wants the rookie, because they want to prove that they did the right thing by trading up from No. 6 to No. 3 to snag Darnold.
Of course, this theory presumes that, if changes are made after the season, there’s a realistic chance that the front office would be spared. The last time the Jets opted for overhaul, everyone went.
But with Christopher Johnson currently running the show, maybe G.M. Mike Maccagnan would be permitted to do for a second time that which John Idzik didn’t get to do even once: Hire a new coach.
Regardless of how it plays out, the win-now versus justify-now-and-win-later conundrum is believed to be a very real dynamic for the Jets, one that will begin to formally play out in 22 days, when the Jets face the Lions in Detroit as the opening game for the first Monday night of the year.