There’s a reason the New York Jets spent $6 million on an aging veteran quarterback who’d spent almost his entire career as a backup—their young quarterbacks waiting in the wings, Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg, are far, far from Sunday ready.
So unfamiliar with NFL quarterbacking is Petty, in fact, that up until Week 15 of the 2017 season, he didn’t know what every QB at every level of football should know: that when he catches his own tipped forward pass, he can’t throw it forward again.
Starting in place of the injured Josh McCown, the aforementioned starter, Petty did just that and was flagged for an illegal forward pass.
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) December 17, 2017
New Orleans Saints fans rightly ridiculed the 26-year-old, who made his first start of the season and fifth of his career.
A ‘You Can’t Do That’ chant breaks out after Bryce Petty tries to pass twice on a down
— Jeff Asher (@Crimealytics) December 17, 2017
Predictably, Twitter users joined in.
Bryce Petty just tried the ol’ double forward pass move. Sneaky, but illegal.
— Luke Johnson (@ByLukeJohnson) December 17, 2017
Bryce Petty just threw his 63rd tipped pass of the afternoon. Though he completed this one. To himself. And attempted another one.
— Mike Tanier 📎 (@MikeTanier) December 17, 2017
I’m all set with my Bryce Petty evaluation.
— Dan Hanzus (@DanHanzus) December 17, 2017
You can’t throw the ball twice, Bryce Petty.
— Joel A. Erickson (@JoelAErickson) December 17, 2017
You don’t even need to play quarterback to know this rule. Some basic quarterback trivia would do: Brett Favre’s first career completion was to himself, but he had the sense to tuck the ball away and run.
Petty threw 39 passes for 179 yards and completed fewer than half of them, at 19. He connected on a garbage-time touchdown, but finished with two interceptions in a 31-19 loss.
He was a fourth-round pick in 2015. A year later, the team would select the highly touted but raw Hackenberg. Petty’s had chances to prove himself in the past, and his younger teammate has yet to appear in a game.
Hackenberg apparently can’t overtake Petty on the depth chart, so the latter’s performance on Sunday should tell you all you need to know about how far from the field the former is.