Here’s something you don’t want to hear about any quarterback, much less one drafted in the second round: The Jets concede that rookie Christian Hackenberg, who hasn’t yet seen one second of action in two preseason games, needs to sort out his throwing mechanics.
“It’s like a golfer,” Jets quarterbacks coach Kevin Patullo said Wednesday, via ESPN.com‘s Rich Cimini. “You don’t want to change his swing midseason.”
More from Cimini:
[The Jets] won’t get into specifics, but people who have studied the rookie believe he tends to over stride, causing his passes to sail. He struggled with his accuracy last season at Penn State, but the Jets saw enough potential to draft him in the second round.
As it stands, Hackenberg remains No. 4 on the depth chart behind Ryan Fitzpatrick and (take your pick) Geno Smith and Bryce Petty. Jets offensive coordinator Chan Gailey thinks it can take a year to change a quarterback’s mechanics, and perhaps that something (everything?) to do with Hackenberg’s lack of playing time. In fact, of the 15 quarterbacks drafted in the spring, Hackenberg is the only one who hasn’t seen the field in the preseason.
So does Hackenberg need a complete makeover?
“That’s not something we’re going to get into right now,” Patullo said. “We’re just trying to see where he’s at, what he knows. …
“You want to be careful. He’s got a lot [on his plate]. He’s trying to learn the playbook, he’s trying to learn defenses — what he sees and how to react. … I think he understands certain things he needs to work on. He’s a hard-working kid.”
This is more fodder for skeptical Jets fans who didn’t like the Hackenberg pick from the time his name was announced on draft night. But, who knows, maybe this all works out. Of course, that also depends on how you define “works out.”
Back in 2007, another second-round pick was struggling to throw spirals in his first NFL minicamp.
“He’s had a fat hand on the ball, so he kind of pushes it,” then-Lions offensive coordinator Mike Martz said at the time.
Martz was talking about Drew Stanton, the Michigan State star who started just four games in four years in Detroit, but went on to a successful career as Carson Palmer’s backup in Arizona.
Hey, there could be worse futures for Hackenberg. Put another way: Maybe a redshirt year isn’t a terrible idea, particularly with Fitzpatrick holding down the fort in 2016.
Source: CBS Sports Headlines / The Jets are trying to fix rookie Christian Hackenberg’s throwing mechanics