Christian Hackenberg Hits Reporters with Throws During Jets OTAs

Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistJune 8, 2017

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 1: Christian Hackenberg #5 of the New York Jets throws a pass in the second quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on September 1, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg reportedly struck a couple members of the media with errant passes during recent organized team activities.

On Thursday, Connor Hughes of NJ Advance Media relayed details of the QB's performance during the voluntary workouts, including a note on a few way-off throws: "In the three media-open OTAs, Hackenberg hit reporters with passes twice."

The Jets invested a second-round pick in the Penn State product during the 2016 draft. He's struggled mightily ever since to showcase progress toward becoming the team's long-term answer under center.

Hackenberg completed an abominable 36.2 percent of his throws with one touchdown and two interceptions across 47 attempts as a rookie in last year's preseason. He didn't see the field during the regular season.

Last month, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com passed along an evaluation an opposing scout made from watching the quarterback warm up before games last year and the scout was "taken aback by how many off-target passes he threw" in those no-pressure situations.

Nevertheless, Hackenberg expressed confidence in his development this week and said he'll be ready whenever it's his turn to lead the offense regardless of the outside commentary, per Randy Lange of the Jets' official website.

"That's their opinions. I can't really speak for them. It's whoever it is," he said. "But I know what I can do and I know what my coaching staff feels that I can do, so I'm just confident in my abilities and when I get my opportunity to play I'm going to do that. I'm confident that I can play at this level and play at a high level, so I'm going to go and, when I get my opportunity, take advantage of that."

Hackenberg is expected to compete with Josh McCown and Bryce Petty for New York's starting quarterback job once training camp arrives in late July. His accuracy will need to make considerable improvement for him to take the reins of the offense by Week 1.