FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Just keep learning.
That’s all Christian Hackenberg has to do right now.
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The Jets rookie quarterback has had a lot thrown at him over the past two months, but coach Todd Bowles understands the learning curve that comes with the NFL. So for now, he’s not worried about Hackenberg’s on-field accuracy. Instead, Bowles just wants his second-round pick to be up to speed when he returns for training camp.
“Just continue to study and get better at the system,” the coach said. “He was hit with a lot in Phase 1, 2, 3, OTAs and minicamp. So I expect him to have a better grasp of it come training camp.”
Hackenberg was one of the most polarizing prospects of this year’s draft class given his declining production after his former college coach, Bill O’Brien, left Penn State for the Houston Texans after the 2013 season. The quarterback’s mechanics and accuracy were heavily scrutinized coming out of college, and questions linger about how he’ll adjust to the NFL.
But Bowles insisted Hackenberg’s accuracy is not a concern.
“Not at this time, no,” he said.
“He’s not the only one making mistakes. You guys see the throw. You don’t see the route, you don’t understand the steps, you don’t see the blocking scheme. There’s a whole bunch of stuff that goes into it.”
Jets quarterbacks coach Kevin Patullo acknowledged Wednesday that Hackenberg is “a typical rookie” trying to find his way in the classroom and on the field. But he and the rest of the offensive coaching staff like what they see already.
“He’s growing as far as his knowledge,” Patullo said. “He grasps the offense pretty well, he has a good base, a good foundation. So that’s been a positive and he’s really good in the classroom with accepting things we say, Geno says to him, Bryce, and all the communication, so that’s the biggest key. He’s really receptive to knowledge and learning.”