Bowles Q-and-A about Hackenberg

Q)Is it possible that Christian Hackenberg will play on Sunday?

Todd Bowles: Not at this time, no. We’ll see how the game goes.

Q)Why don’t you have plans to play Hackenberg?

Bowles: Bryce (Petty) had four games to get ready for. We’re not going to gain or lose nothing by looking at Christian or not in this game.

Q)Is Hackenberg not ready to play?

Bowles: Anybody that hasn’t played. They won’t be ready until they play, but you don’t leap frog people to start playing. If Fitz gets hurt and he gets to play, you’ll see him play, but if not it doesn’t mean anything plus or minus that we’re not playing him this year. We had a plan for him going in when we drafted him. He’s taken a lot of reps in practice. If Fitz gets hurt, he’ll go in there and play. If Fitz doesn’t, he won’t play, but he’s ready to play. He’ll be ready to play. Obviously with experience comes better play and you’ll see a bunch of things, but putting him in right now isn’t going to hurt or help him.

Q)Is there being no chance he’ll get any playing time against Buffalo?

Bowles: I don’t know. We’ll see how the game goes. He might or he might not.

Q)What are your thoughts on those obsessed with Hackenberg playing?

Bowles: I don’t worry about that as a coach.

Q)Did Hackenberg come to the Jets more behind from a playing perspective than you anticipated?

Bowles: All of them had mechanical problems coming out (of the NFL Draft). We didn’t need him to play right away because going off of last year, Fitz had a great year and Geno (Smith) was coming back. The idea was to put him on the shelf regardless and let him get better going in. He wasn’t going to come in and then beat out the two guys that were ahead of him, or three guys that were ahead of him. He can use some mechanical work and he got better as the year went on. That will only show in the game, but (putting) him out there in the last game and say his mechanics aren’t great or his mechanics aren’t bad doesn’t make any sense either.

Q)What about the argument that Hackenberg could gain experience to build off of for next season?

Bowles: There’s no argument one way or the other. He’s the backup. If Fitz gets hurt or if the game gets out of hand, one way or the other (and) we want to put him in the fourth (quarter) then we’ll put him in. If not, he won’t play.

Q)Does Hackenberg still need a lot of work?

Bowles: Until somebody plays, you never know. A young player coming into the league needs a lot of work. Some play right away, some don’t.

Dan Leberfeld
Dan Leberfeld
Publisher of Jets Confidential Magazine. Call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 12-4) to subscribe. Co-host of Press Coverage every Saturday on SiriusXM NFL Radio from 11-2.

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