Bowles on backup QB battle: ‘Every position is open’

By Nick Shook
NFL.com
Read full post on NFL.com

When Ryan Fitzpatrick signed his one-year deal with the New York Jets, the quarterback position was solidified for Gang Green.

Make that starting quarterback.

Geno Smith, who reacted to Fitzpatrick’s return by stating he’d be auditioning for all 32 teams (and by tweeting Young Thug lyrics) suddenly finds himself in a bit of a competition with an unexpected foe: fellow backup quarterback Bryce Petty.

A clunker Friday night didn’t help Smith’s cause. Smith completed less than 50 percent of his attempts (6 of 13) for 47 yards and an interception that was quickly turned into six points by the Redskins.

Petty followed Smith at the start of the second half and proceeded to go 16-of-26 passing for 242 yards and two touchdowns. Level of competition notwithstanding, it was a stark contrast to the play of Smith, who’s always (sometimes unfairly) been a lightning rod for criticism since becoming a Jet in 2013.

After coach Todd Bowles declared Smith as the team’s No. 2 quarterback, and Petty as its third following a Week 1 win over Jacksonville, he wasn’t as firm in the wake of a 22-18 loss to Washington Friday.

“I didn’t say there wasn’t any competition,” Bowles told reporters, via ESPN. “I said, ‘Right now, Geno is 2 and Bryce is 3.'”

But is it possible for Petty to challenge Smith for the backup gig?

Anybody can push anybody for any job,” Bowles said. “We’ll look at the film and we’ll evaluate it. It’s not just throws you have to look at. You have to look at the body of work and everything that happened in the game.”

Petty had more playing time against what would be considered to be lesser opponents in the second half of a preseason contest. But he clearly won the “body of work” battle Friday. So is the backup quarterback position open?

“Every position is open,” Bowles said.

Cue the backup quarterback controversy, which might only be possible in a place like New York. Don’t even get us started on Christian Hackenberg‘s sideline exile.

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