Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

QB Josh McCown to Start Final Four Games for Jets

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

QB Josh McCown to Start Final Four Games for Jets

Article excerpt

FLORHAM PARK — There is will be no late-season change of heart. There is no last-minute contingency plan if the Jets fall out of playoff contention.

Jets coach Todd Bowles reiterated on Wednesday that Josh McCown will his starter for the final four games. "That's what I've been saying," Bowles said.

That's bad news for the Jets' young quarterbacks, Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg. Petty, a third-year pro, is the backup who is trying to build his resume after four underwhelming starts in 2016. Hackenberg, a second-year pro and 2016 second-round pick, is still looking for his first professional snap.

But both players took the news in stride on Wednesday.

Petty, the first in line to take over for McCown, was especially gracious and thoughtful about the situation.

"As a competitor, you obviously want to play," the 26-year-old, 2015 fourth-round pick out of Baylor said. "But at the same time, man, for his career and what he's gone through, how do you not root for a guy to finish it out right? And [with] how productive he's been, you want to see that."

Petty is right. McCown admitted Wednesday that it would mean a lot for the 38-year-old to start all 16 games for the first time in his remarkable career.

He was drafted in 2003, and out of the league in 2010 coaching for a high school team in North Carolina. But he's having the best season of his career for the Jets. Sunday's game at Denver will match a career high for games started (13) that he set way back in 2004. He's already set career bests for touchdowns (18), passing yards (2,880) and is on pace to have his best completion percentage ever (67.8). And if Petty looks at McCown's career arc, he can also see that at some point he'll get his chance.

"I'm young and I'm going to get my shot. I know that for a fact," Petty said. "So I'm just going to keep working. keep working, keep working, keep working, not worry about anything else I can't control and we're just going to worry about who we are in here, being a good teammate, working hard in the meeting room and on the practice field. …

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