New York Jets Training Camp Preview: Quarterback


As July comes near an end, NFL football moves closer and closer. In the coming days, NFL training camps will begin as teams will begin preparing for the 2015 season. For teams like the New York Jets, training camp will be extremely important as they have a new regime in place with Todd Bowles replacing Rex Ryan as head coach. The Jets are also starting to get some expectations, as they made some big upgrades to their roster, adding weapons offensively and bringing back some familiar faces on the defensive side of the ball. All of this has caused some optimism for Gang Green, making them a team to keep an eye on throughout training camp.

While there may not be many training camp battles per say, there are still plenty of things to keep an eye on. Here at Empire Writes Back we have you covered, as we will give a position by position, or unit by unit, preview leading up to training camp beginning July 29th in Florham Park, New Jersey. The first position we will be taking a look at will be quarterback.

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Current Depth Chart:

1. Geno Smith
2. Ryan Fitzpatrick
3. Bryce Petty
4. Jake Heaps

The player to keep an eye on in this group is obviously Smith. The embattled incumbent quarterback held over from the Rex Ryan regime is probably on his last chance with the Jets to be their starting quarterback of the present and future. Training camp will be extremely important for him this season, as he will be learning a new offensive system under Chan Gailey.

The new offense that Gailey is attempting to run theoretically should help Smith, as it is quicker drop backs so that he can get the ball out of his hands faster. That could be the problem though, as Smith’s decision making in the past has been questionable at best to put it nicely. Will he be able to handle an offense that requires him to make read and react, snap decisions? It remains to be seen.

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If the inconsistencies and mistakes continue to pop up, the Jets could easily move on to someone like Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick has experience playing with Gailey, as they were paired together when Gailey was the head coach of the Buffalo BIlls. But, at this time, it looks like Smith will be heading into camp as the No.1 with it being his job to lose. He will receive a bulk of the reps with the first team, so he just needs to not bomb for Fitzpatrick to overtake him as it will be tough for Fitzpatrick to show what he can do with limited reps.

While Smith and Fitzpatrick will receive most of the first team reps, as they will more than likely be the only players to start games for the Jets this season, they are not the only quarterbacks on the roster. In Bryce Betty, the Jets new regime could have their quarterback of the future. This will be the first time to see their 2015 fourth round pick in action. He has a lot of work to do, coming from the shotgun spread offense he ran at Baylor to a system that he will be playing under center much more.

Like Smith, Petty has the athleticism and arm talent for an NFL quarterback, it’s the other stuff that he needs to work on. Unlike Smith though, Petty is nowhere near as polished or advanced as Smith is. He has plenty of work to do, but it will be fun for Jets fans to see him in action for the Jets time in their green and white.

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As for Heaps, he will be lucky to make the final roster. Most NFL teams carry only two quarterbacks, three at the most. He played at Miami (FL) last season to end his career after playing at Kansas and BYU prior to that. The only real chance he has at sticking around with the Jets is if he find his way to the practice squad. Other than that, he doesn’t have much a future with the Jets at this time.

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