Bowles says no competition right now for Jets' No. 2 QB job
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) Who's No. 2? Well, there's no debate for Todd Bowles and the New York Jets.
The coach says Geno Smith remains the backup quarterback behind starter Ryan Fitzpatrick, with Bryce Petty in the third spot on the team's depth chart.
''Geno's No. 2 right now,'' Bowles said Saturday after a steamy practice. ''You're not making a competition after one preseason game.''
Smith 8 of 14 for 79 yards and a touchdown in the Jets' 17-13 win over Jacksonville on Thursday night. Petty, a fourth-round draft pick last year, was 7 of 14 for 93 yards. Rookie Christian Hackenberg, a second-rounder this year, did not play.
''He did OK,'' Bowles said of Smith's performance. ''Bryce played OK and Fitz played OK. The biggest thing was they didn't turn it over, we didn't have any pre-snap penalties and we've had those all week since camp began. They gave us a chance. I thought they commanded the game well.''
Smith was the Jets' starter until last August, when he had his jaw broken by a punch from a teammate. Fitzpatrick moved into the starting role and thrived, throwing a career-high 31 touchdown passes while leading New York to a 10-6 mark and within a win of the playoffs.
It appeared Smith might have a chance to reclaim his job this offseason as Fitzpatrick, a free agent, and the Jets went through a long contract stalemate. But Fitzpatrick re-signed just before the first training camp practice - moving Smith to the backup role again and Petty to No. 3.
There has been some speculation that Petty could perhaps push Smith for the No. 2 role this summer. That doesn't appear to be the immediate plan, nor does giving Petty some snaps with the second-team offense in the preseason.
''Going forward, we'll sit down and discuss it,'' Bowles said. ''Obviously, we expect the 1's to go a little bit longer than they played in the last game. Depending on what we need to do, we'll adjust them going forward.''
Bowles also said the rotation won't change much in practice, either.
''I mean, I've been looking at Bryce for a while now,'' the coach said.
It will be intriguing to watch how the Jets' quarterback situation plays out over the next few weeks. Both Bowles and general manager Mike Maccagnan have said that it's a possibility New York could keep all four quarterbacks on their roster heading into the regular-season opener against Cincinnati.
Many NFL teams keep only two, with some only going with three, at most. Washington - Robert Griffin III, Kirk Cousins, Rex Grossman and Pat White - and Minnesota - Christian Ponder, Matt Cassel, McLeod Bethel-Thompson and Joe Webb, who was listed as a wide receiver - both in 2013, were the last teams to open a season with four QBs on their roster.
The Jets, whose next game is at Washington next Friday night, had a nearly 2+-hour practice despite the heat index putting temperatures around 100 degrees.
Bowles didn't change much of the regular routine, other than having the players take more breaks and making sure they were all well hydrated.
''Other than that, the guys have to play through it,'' he said. ''(We should feel) lucky. Jacksonville doesn't have an indoor bubble. They're out in it every day, so we can stomach a couple of days.''
Bowles is a former NFL safety who played when teams would routinely practice twice a day during training camp. That was eliminated with the league's collective bargaining agreement in 2011, limiting teams to just one practice a day.
''I think football coaches that played do (like this weather),'' said Bowles, who played for Washington and San Francisco from 1986-93, ''because the two-a-days you went through back then, for five and six weeks every day, you have no sympathy.''
Fitzpatrick estimated he drank about 10 bottles of water during practice.
''That's for me, and I know that the linemen are crushing it,'' he said. ''They're drinking a lot more than I am. Some of the guys have to change their shoes they get so sweaty. They get so sopping wet that they have to do a quick oil change and get new shoes on and go.''
NOTES: RB Matt Forte remained sidelined with a hamstring injury suffered while working out on his own shortly before training camp began. He has participated in individual drills just once in camp, leading to uncertainty as when he'll be healthy. ''He's day by day, week by week,'' Bowles said ... LB David Harris had an excused absence from practice. ... CB Dexter McDougle (leg), WR-KR Kyle Williams (hamstring) and S Ronald Martin (unspecified) returned and practiced fully. NT Steve McLendon (toe) and S Doug Middleton (leg) were among those who didn't practice.
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