Ryan Fitzpatrick’s tenure as the Jets quarterback may officially be at its end.
Following a loss to the New England Patriots at home, 22-17, Bowles spoke to the media. When asked to give his assessment about whether or not Fitzpatrick would start next week, the tight-lipped coach wouldn’t say who would be under center next week. And with the Jets officially out of AFC East contention and one game away from playoff elimination, as reported by Connor Hughes of NJ Advance Media, it looks like Bryce Petty’s time may have finally arrived.
— Connor Hughes (@Connor_J_Hughes) November 28, 2016
To many fans, that time should have already come, with Ryan Fitzpatrick boasting a league-worst 67.6 passer rating heading into the game against the Patriots, as reported by ESPN. But Bowles opted to go with Fitzpatrick despite the fact the Jets were likely not making the playoffs prior to the outcome of the Patriots game anyway. He was blasted by the media throughout the week.
In fact, the only vocal members of the media to support the decision to stay with Ryan over Bryce were former GM and NFL Network analyst Charlie Casserly and former Jets QB Chad Pennington. As reported by the New York Jets website, Pennington believes Bowles is doing what’s best for the organization in the short and long term by turning to Fitzpatrick for one final game.
Feisty effort by Ryan Fitzpatrick and Jets, but same ‘ol result against Pats https://t.co/CPpLHEEeXy
— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) November 28, 2016
“The development piece of it — in my opinion — is something that’s talked about way too much,” Pennington said. “Yes you have to develop players, yes there’s a time and place for that. But you have to be judicious in how you do that and when you do that and don’t sacrifice the rest of your team just for the development of one guy.”
He also went on to dispel the notion that withholding Petty from a trial by fire would necessarily stunt his development.
“I don’t think you’re stunting the growth or the development of Bryce Petty by watching Ryan Fitzpatrick work. By the way, you’re actually probably helping his development because I would imagine he is getting some reps with the ones now. He’s not just running the scout team. With the help of Ryan Fitzpatrick and the state of the team, he is working in there. And also with Geno Smith being injured, he’s getting some of those reps, which is part of his development.”
Finally, Pennington addressed the rumors that Bowles named Fitzpatrick the starter as a way not to lose the locker room. While agreeing with the notion that Todd was likely appeasing his veterans, he stopped short of declaring the season a lost cause.
“From Coach Bowles’ perspective, he’s trying to generate some positivity in the locker room. How do you do that? By playing good solid football and winning games. And how do you do that? You play the best players who give you the best chance to win the game. And so right now, he’s saying that Ryan Fitzpatrick gives us the best opportunity to win a game.”
— NY Daily News Sports (@NYDNSports) November 28, 2016
But alas, the time to look forward to 2017 is upon the Jets. After finishing with a surprising 10-6 record last year, it was assumed they would compete for a playoff spot yet again. But with their record at 3-8, Todd Bowles knows its time to look to the future and see what he has in Bryce Petty.
[Featured Image by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images]