FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Bryce Petty is preparing to put on his cowboy boots and head back to Texas.
The Jets quarterback, and former Baylor star, is focused right now on spending time with his family, and he insists he’s not anxious about the looming quarterback decision.
“I’m here to play football. Again, for me, it’s control what you can control,” Petty said Tuesday when asked about his status when the Jets return from their bye week. “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, to be a good teammate, I have to be a better quarterback than I was yesterday, today. That part doesn’t change, whatever is going on.”
The 25-year-old went from the No. 2 to first-time NFL starter this past Sunday against the Rams because of Ryan Fitzpatrick’s sprained left knee. But with a week and a half until their matchup with the rival Patriots (7-2), Fitzpatrick might very well be healthy enough to play.
Todd Bowles refused to shed light on the quarterback situation. Instead, he said Monday that he’ll take a week before announcing who will start against New England.
“I’ll go back home to Texas,” Petty said. “Put the cowboy boots on, hang out with mom and dad for a little bit, so it’ll be good. Kind of get your mind away from things. Regroup and be ready to rock and roll when we get back.”
Asked if he’s anxious to know if he’ll get the start, Petty said: “Again, those are hypotheticals. Being anxious is not something that I like to feel.”
Bowles — who did not speak Tuesday to reporters because of the bye week schedule — said he’ll base his decision on who gives the Jets (3-7) the best chance to beat Tom Brady’s Patriots.
Petty, who completed 19 of 32 passes for 163 yards with a touchdown against the Rams, said he’s in the dark — just like Jets fans. “That’s out of my hands. I’m in the same boat they are,” he said. “Again, we’re going to keep fighting, we’re going to keep working hard. Hungry as ever. We all are. We’re fighting for pride. We’re fighting for the guys in this locker room because that’s all we have.”
Christian Hackenberg isn’t even a part of the quarterback conversation, Bowles said, but the offseason will be critical for the rookie. That’s when the coaching staff plans to tweak his mechanics. “Right now he’s just practicing with us and doing what he does,” quarterbacks coach Kevin Patullo said. “The more he plays the more we’ll be able to see.”
Patullo said now isn’t the time to “mess around with that kind of stuff” because Hackenberg is “just trying to learn. Once you get the mental stuff down, then you can kind of mess around with that. That’s when you do that, offseason. Re-tweak the swing, you know what I mean?”
But it remains to be seen whether Hackenberg’s mechanics need tweaking or wholesale changes.
“It just depends,” Patullo said. “It depends on where he’s at on things.”