So you may have heard, but Christian Hackenberg is playing for the New York Jets. God bless his soul because the only thing worse than playing for the Jets is playing for the Browns, but some of the reports coming out of New York haven’t been too positive. Namely, there have been some concerns about Hackenberg’s accuracy based on the fact that he’s apparently hit sideline reporters a few times.
We got a first-hand look at one of those "horrific" throws on Tuesday. Be warned, if you watch this, you are running the risk of turning to stone, like King Polydectes was when he dared gaze at the head of Medusa. Let us take this risk together. Pray, friends. Pray for mercy from the Gods.
The Christian Hackenberg Experience pic.twitter.com/CszEeSyUOt— Daniel Popper (@danielrpopper) June 13, 2017
...that's it? I mean, uh, yeah the throw wasn't perfect but it's not like he was trying to hit Popper like it was that scene in The Longest Yard where Adam Sandler threw a dart at the ref's crotch two times in a row and Terry Crews made some joke about protecting his McNuggets.
Plus it didn't hit Popper as much as it was just over the receiver's head and it bounced towards him, which still isn't great but this is more of a flukey accident than anything else. Hell, Florida quarterback Luke Del Rio was in the replies defending Hack.
That is like 4 inches over his head. stop acting like he sailed it 10 yards over him. Ppl love to criticize rather than encourage these days— Luke Del Rio (@Ldelrio12) June 14, 2017
But the big thing here is that receiver. Heavens to Betsy that dude put forth about as much effort as Adam Sandler did in The Longest Yard when he was told to throw the game or face the death penalty. Here are two separate former NFL players – ex-receiver Derek Hagan and former cornerback Brian Witherspoon – saying the receiver didn't exactly help his quarterback out.
That was a terrible route by WR! Has to get in and out of break. Is this what there teaching now in PRO football?— Derek Hagan (@dhagan80) June 13, 2017
I might come out of retirement after seeing that route! This is how you run a proper route. In in out of break, running through the ball! pic.twitter.com/FFptkJNmnV— Derek Hagan (@dhagan80) June 14, 2017
Lazy route & horrible effort by the WR.— Brian Witherspoon (@Spoony29) June 14, 2017
These are great, sure. The best reaction, though, came from Penn State wide receivers coach Josh Gattis, who replied to this tweet by Bleacher Report's Matt Miller...
Awful route and effort by the WR. https://t.co/jTi1w06v1u— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) June 14, 2017
...with some of the hottest fire that you'll see.
Beyond awful job by the WR! I've got a room full of guys that could start for the Jets now!— Josh Gattis (@Coach_Gattis) June 14, 2017
Gattis and Miller continued to shoot the breeze regarding this, but holy hell Gattis dropping that line about how he has a room full of guys who could start for the Jets rules. I am inclined to agree with Gattis because I watched the Jets for five minutes last year, but I am also tremendously biased in this endeavor as someone who likes Hackenberg and does not like the Jets.
This route really was horrific, as both Gattis and Miller pointed out – the receiver took way too long to get out of his break, then just kind of stood there and didn't even try to, you know, catch the football. Any cornerback who knows what they're doing and is older than, like, 14 could probably jump this route.
Anyway, let's see how the rest of Hackenberg's practice went. I bet it was so brutal that the New York media is gonna run him the h*ck outta town!
Hackenberg just threw a dime to the sideline to Myles White in 11 v. 11 for gain of 15. One of the better throws I've seen him make.— Daniel Popper (@danielrpopper) June 13, 2017
Christian Hackenberg is having the best practice today of any of the ones open to the media this spring. Looks good #nyj— Brian Costello (@BrianCoz) June 13, 2017
Final tallies from 11-on-11 today— Daniel Popper (@danielrpopper) June 13, 2017
McCown: 23/35, TD, 2 INT
Hackenberg: 11/14, TD, INT, 2 sacks
Petty: 9/15, TD, INT, sack #Jets
It was far too hot for me to tweet today but take this for what it's worth, today was the best practice I've ever seen Hackenberg have #nyj— Chris Nimbley (@Cnimbley) June 13, 2017
...uh, excuse me?
Hackenberg almost certainly has a long way to go, but there are signs of progress – at the very least, that's the vibe that seems to be coming out of Jets camp. Until we get to that point, let us all laugh in unison at the fact that Josh Gattis (accurately) dunked on the entire Jets wide receiving corps, just like Michael Irvin dunked really hard against Adam Sandler when they played 1-on-1 in The Longest Yard.