It's Bryce Petty week again this week as the Jets get ready to head out to San Francisco, but this is different than previous Petty weeks this season.
This week BP is starting not due to injury but due to CD — coach's decision.
And was a good time after today's practice at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center for the young man from Baylor to reflect on how he went from odd man out after a draft that included Christian Hackenberg in Round 2 to next man up with Ryan Fitzpatrick sitting down, Geno Smith out of the picture with his injury, and Hackenberg still learning the ropes.
"I'm not supposed to be here and I know that, so I don't take it for granted," Petty said. "I think every day I come in here, it's a blessing to be here. This locker room is awesome. I love coming in to work every day with these guys and for Coach Bowles giving me the opportunity because there's not a lot of teams that I know of anyways that have taken four quarterbacks. I really appreciate that."
Petty's numbers haven't been eye-opening in his half series at Miami and one start against the Rams for an injured Fitzpatrick and Monday night's second half vs. the Colts. He's completed 54% of his passes for two touchdowns and three interceptions, giving him a 59.8 passer rating, and in his 17 drives he's produced those two TDs and a field goal.
But now that head coach Todd Bowles has "penciled him in" for these last four games, Petty will get an extended chance to polish all the parts of his pro game. And he's aware this audition could be for longer than just the last quarter of a down year.
"I'd be lying to you if I said didn't know that. At the same time, I'm trying to take it one game at a time," he said. "For me, this is an awesome opportunity. One, being that. Two, I get to contribute, I get to help my team in any way I can. I hold that really high on my priority list. ... I'm going to do all I can to win in San Francisco and then the rest will take care of itself."
Punt Return CandidatesThe punt return gig has been a hot potato this year. Rookie Jalin Marshall tossed it to Jeremy Ross, then it went back to J.Marshall and back to Ross, with Nick Marshall even getting a return against the Rams.
Now with Ross released again and J.Marshall still out of practice in the concussion protocol, who will field punts at Levi's Stadium on Sunday? Possibly N.Marshall, listed as J.Marshall's backup on the unofficial team depth chart. But Bowles added two more names to the list: Marcus Williams and B.Marshall.
"It's between Marcus Williams and Nick," said Bowles, "and Brandon can catch a few. He's lobbying for it, but I doubt if I'll put him back there."
I asked Brandon Marshall about his lobbying effort to return punts and he expressed mock disappointment as his coach's reluctance to give him a test drive.
"I'm not really happy with Coach Bowles right now because he won't let me punt-return. Serious," he said. "So we'll see."
We don't doubt B.Marshall could handle it, but for the record he has no punt returns in his 11 NFL regular seasons. Neither does Williams. N.Marshall had five returns for Jacksonville last year.
The Best Images from Wednesday's Practice
But Seriously, FolksWe know Marshall was joking about his head coach because before that he spent nearly 20 minutes with reporters at his locker, and one of his longer exchanges had to do with his view that the Jets locker room is not fracturing despite the 3-9 record the way he said the Bears' locker room did toward the end of their 5-11 season in 2014.
Why is that, he was asked.
"Todd Bowles," Marshall said, adding of the criticism Bowles has faced recently, "He's the head coach. That comes with the territory. And that's why we respect Coach so much, that's why we're still together, because he tells us like it is and he's a man of his word, he's a man's man.