On Wednesday, Christian Hackenberg did his best Matt Ryan impression. Last week, it was Jay Cutler. The week before that was Tom Brady. This is life for the second-year Jets quarterback right now. He and Bryce Petty split duties as the scout-team quarterback in practice, giving the Jets starting defense practice against that week’s opponent’s offense. Hackenberg likes studying the opponent and trying to give the Jets defense an accurate look to practice against. Some quarterbacks are tougher to emulate than others. “Tyrod’s tough,” Hackenberg said, referring to Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor, who is a bit more mobile than Hackenberg. “We’ve got scramble drills and it’s like, ‘Come on now.’” You might expect Hackenberg to be saying, “Come on now” to the Jets coaches. Sunday marks the halfway point of his second year in the NFL. Hackenberg has yet to take a snap in the regular season. He has been active for just two games in his career — the final game of last season and the first game of this season. In both instances, Petty was injured. But Hackenberg remains upbeat. There is no sense of frustration with him. “Obviously you want to play,” Hackenberg said. “Every guy in this locker room wants to play. Everyone is competitive. You need to be able to take a step back. I’ve said it over and over. There are multiple cases of quarterbacks who have sat and watched and learned and when they get their opportunity they roll. There’s a million different ways to skin this cat. That’s been proven over time.” Hackenberg is correct. People can point to Aaron Rodgers or Carson Palmer as quarterbacks who benefited from time on the bench before starting. Those days in the NFL seem to be fading, though. Of the 10 quarterbacks drafted in the first five rounds last year, only Hackenberg has not played. Four rookie quarterbacks have already started this season.
Hackenberg’s impersonations are improving, but he’s still waiting
New York Post | Oct 26