The latest cruel reminder for the Jets and their quarterback-starved fan base will be wearing No. 12 — of course he will be wearing Joe Willie’s familiar No. 12 — and playing quarterback for the Colts on Monday night.
Tom Brady last week.
Andrew Luck this week.
Luck, cleared from the concussion protocol Friday, may not endure long enough behind that offensive line, with the beatings he incessantly takes, to win a Super Bowl someday, but he has kept the Colts eminently relevant while seamlessly taking the torch from Peyton Manning in 2012.
The Jets, you might recall, were in no position to Suck For Luck in 2011 as their franchise quarterback, Mark Sanchez, had just been to back-to-back AFC Championship games. The notion of an NFL team tanking to put itself in position to draft him was anathema to Luck at the time.
“I am aware of it,” Luck told the New York Times. “A couple of guys told me about it. I think it’s stupid. Simply put.”
The Jets, falling far short of Rex Ryan’s loud Super Bowl proclamations, regressed enough with an 8-8 record that season to draft defensive end Quinton Coples with the 16th pick of the 2012 draft. Some luck. Dumb luck. No Luck. Simply put.
Because then-GM John Idzik drafted Geno Smith in the second round of the 2013 draft, there was no thought to drafting Teddy Bridgewater or Derek Carr during the 2014 draft. Long-suffering and cynical Jets fans might look back at drafting Calvin Pryor with the 18th pick instead of Johnny Manziel as an upset comparable to Jets over Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III.
The Jets were a horrific 4-12 in 2014, not bad enough, naturally, to earn the new Todd Bowles-Mike Maccagnan regime the first or second pick of the 2015 draft for either Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota. Some luck. Dumb luck. No Luck, Winston or Mariota.
But never mind the first-round quarterback picks who never came close to Making The Jets Great Again.
It is the curse of the second-round quarterback pick that has tormented the franchise as much as anything.
The latest — following Browning Nagle, Kellen Clemens, Smith — is Christian Hackenberg, who along with Bryce Petty will be watching Ryan Fitzpatrick try to get Todd Bowles to 4-8. Hackenberg will be watching for the same reason that Petty will be watching. Because Bowles and Maccagnan apparently believe that Woody Johnson under center would give them a better chance to win.
This just in, a possible tweet from President-elect Trump:
Forget about Dak Prescott for a minute, if you possibly can. If Petty can’t get in the game at 3-8 after more than a year and a half in the system when the playoffs are lost and Fitzpatrick is a lame duck, then clearly he is not viewed as the quarterback of the future.
If that is indeed the case, take the bubble wrap off of Hackenberg sooner rather than much, much later and just give him the damn ball.
At this point: Why the Hack not?
Nobody passed a law that says this had to be his redshirt season, did they?
“I think he’s a developmental player at this point. There’s a lot of talent there. The sky’s the limit,” Chan Gailey said.
How about increasing his reps in practice so we can see that development in games?
He’s had the benefit, since the start of training camp, of learning from Fitzpatrick and using him as a resource, hasn’t he?
Now that Nick Mangold, the quarterback of the offensive line, is back at center, the reluctance to throw Hackenberg to the wolves should be mitigated.
On what planet does a second-round draft choice continue to sit on the bench for a 3-8 team that desperately needs to solve its franchise quarterback dilemma anyway?
He must have plenty of the right stuff, why else would Maccagnan spend a second-round pick on him?
Are his mechanics still horrific? Is he throwing with the wrong arm? What’s the story? He needs another offseason to correct his mechanics?
If Jets fans didn’t have bad luck, they wouldn’t have any luck at all. If the Jets don’t try to find out more sooner than later about Hackenberg, they’ll find themselves sucking for someone else much too soon.