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Being on the sideline of an NFL practice carries certain risks. Keep your head on a swivel.
However, you don’t expect to get pelted with errant passes from professional quarterbacks. That danger seems to be exclusive to New York Jets camp when Christian Hackenberg is taking reps.
Hackenberg was a surprising second-round pick by the Jets last season. The pick was a surprise because Hackenberg has accuracy issues, and that usually doesn’t translate well to the NFL. In practices this offseason, he has had a habit of hitting reporters on the sideline with poor passes. Connor Hughes of NJ.com wrote noted Hackenberg’s lack of accuracy earlier this month, saying in “the three media-open OTAs, Hackenberg hit reporters with passes twice.”
That trend continued Tuesday, via Daniel Popper of the New York Daily News:
The Christian Hackenberg Experience pic.twitter.com/CszEeSyUOt
— Daniel Popper (@danielrpopper) June 13, 2017
From the reports at Jets camp, Hackenberg has had some good moments, but his bad moments are pretty bad. That matches up with the scouting report on him, and the troubling reports about his struggles in practice during the 2016 season. You’d rather not hear about inconsistency from a quarterback when players are wearing shorts and shirts during non-contact OTAs. That usually doesn’t fix itself when pads go on.
Hackenberg could end up as the Jets’ starting quarterback this season. The Jets clearly have an eye on the future, and it makes no sense to start journeyman Josh McCown. To win the job, Hackenberg is going to have to show he can consistently deliver the ball.
He might want to start by not hitting any more reporters with errant throws during practice.
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