Todd Bowles denies Christian Hackenberg has been terrible in practice

Rachel Wold
Christian Hackenberg

It is a blessing in disguise that the New York Jets season is a done deal considering all of the quarterback mayhem over the course of the past 17 weeks. The latest offering in quarterback dysfunction comes by way of Todd Bowles having to come to the rescue of rookie quarterback Christian Hackenberg, who an anonymous coach reportedly said “couldn’t hit the ocean.”

When specifically asked about the comment, and if he shared the same opinion, Bowles answered, “Not at all,” per Daniel Popper of the New York Daily News.

“There’s nothing wrong with Christian. He just needs to play,” Bowles said. “Fitz had a great year last year. Geno was coming back strong as No. 2. Bryce was making progress as a No. 3. So he’s allowed to have a redshirt year. Next year, he’s got to show some progress and make the same jumps.”

The comment is obviously a shot of the first-year quarterback. Hackenberg never took one snap and was finally activated for the first time in Week 17. It’s not the first time we’ve heard about Hackenberg being awful in practice, either (more on that here).

Hackenberg however, does not seem to be to bothered by what has been said.

“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.”

At least the rookie is taking the right stance by not letting this get to him. Hackenberg was chosen by the Jets in second round of the 2016 NFL Draft. The Jets kept him stashed away while Geno Smith, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Bryce Petty took turns under center.

Smith’s tenure was short when he suffered a knee injury early in the season. Fitzpatrick and Petty rotated within the role for the remainder of the year. Considering the team did not let Hackenberg touch the field, his outlook for next season remains cloudy. The Jets also have to decide what they want to do with Fitzpatrick and Smith moving forward.

It is an unavoidable mess that Bowles and the Jets staff will have to deal with in the upcoming months. Meanwhile, all Hackenberg can do is attempt to improve once spring practices begin taking place.