New York Jets: The unfair rhetoric against Christian Hackenberg
Jan 1, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) warms up before a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

There’s been a ton of criticism thrown the way of New York Jets’ Christian Hackenberg. It’s all come before he’s even played an NFL game.

How can someone who hasn’t taken one snap in a regular season NFL game be so heavily scrutinized? Lately, Christian Hackenberg has had a lot thrown his way.

A Manish Mehta “source,” of the New York Daily News, of course, essentially said that Christian Hackenberg will never make it.

How can we be so sure of that? This is my question.

You can argue that Hackenberg was drafted too high. I would probably agree with you on that. Taking a project in the second round of the draft, a year after you draft a QB project in the fourth round, is certainly questionable.

Though the Hackenberg criticism is one that is premature, the thing is, the Jets knew that Hack was a project. That’s why he only dressed for one game this entire year.

For once, they actually had a plan that made sense at the QB position. They were smart to not throw him into the deep end when he hasn’t learned to swim in NFL waters yet.

His footwork and decision making isn’t going to be there yet. That’s the point of the project. 2016 was meant for him to hold onto the clipboard and to absorb as much as he can.

This offseason is when the development truly begins. Hackenberg has to begin the process of obtaining the skills other than physically throwing throwing the football.

He’s got to learn footwork, how to read an NFL defense, and learn how to play turnover-free football — that much is key.

Once Hack sees the NFL field, preferably in a regular season game, the analysis can start. To base your analysis on limited time in the third and fourth week of the preseason is unfair and lazy.

A 36 percent completion percentage isn’t very pleasant to look at, but it’s not a big enough sample size to accurately predict the trajectory of his career.

He deserves a chance on the field before we can say that he won’t make it in the NFL. If at that point he isn’t very good that’s another story. This isn’t a guarantee that Hackenberg will turn into the franchise QB or QB of the future.

But, let’s, at the very least, give the 21-year-old a chance to develop and get his feet wet before it’s decided that he can’t play in the league.


I'm a Jets, Islanders and Mets fan from Long Island. I'm the General Manager of my college radio station WFTU Riverhead where I also do a sports talk show called "This Week In Sports". In addition to ESNY I'm a co-editor of "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take -Wayne Gretzky" -Michael Scott