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Bowles denies report that Hackenberg is awful in practice

Buffalo Bills v New York Jets

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - JANUARY 01: Christian Hackenberg #5 of the New York Jets watches from the sidelines during the second half of their game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium on January 1, 2017 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Ed Mulholland/Getty Images)

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The Jets spent a second-round draft pick on quarterback Christian Hackenberg and then never put him on the field all season, even as they struggled with injuries and poor play from their other quarterbacks. That led to questions about how bad Hackenberg must look in practice, not to get a chance to show what he can do in a game.

Compounding those questions was a Sunday report from ESPN, attributed to an unnamed Jets coach, that Hackenberg is so inaccurate in practice that he “couldn’t hit the ocean.”

Jets head coach Todd Bowles, however, said it isn’t true that Hackenberg is flailing in practice.

Not at all,” Bowles said. “There’s nothing wrong with Christian. He just needs to play.”

Hackenberg shrugged off the report.

“I really don’t have any opinion on it,” Hackenberg said. “A coach has never come up and said anything to me directly. So, until he does that, I’m really not too concerned about it.”

All we know for sure is that the Jets never thought it was in their interests to put Hackenberg on the field, even in a season in which the quarterback situation couldn’t have gotten much worse. No matter what Bowles says publicly, that’s not a good sign.