For Jets offensive coordinator John Morton, it’s a no-brainer: Josh McCown should be back with Gang Green in 2018.
“Sure. Why wouldn’t I?” Morton said Thursday in Florham Park when asked if he’d like to have McCown in his quarterback room next season. “Look at the stats. But I don’t make that decision. You can ask the head coach that and the people upstairs.”
Morton has a point. McCown — who Todd Bowles said Wednesday will start the final four games of 2017, barring injury — is enjoying by far the best season of his NFL career. More importantly, the 38-year-old’s stats stack up admirably against the league’s other quarterbacks. He’s in the top 12 in passing yards (2,880), touchdowns (18), and passer rating (96.7), and he’s fourth in the league in completion percentage (67.2).
Over the past several weeks, McCown has sounded like a man who wants to continue playing. It’s a decision he’ll make this offseason after consulting his family, and obviously a lot can change over these last four weeks. But how can a player as competitive as McCown walk away from the game just as he’s hitting his stride as a passer?
Morton has seen no signs of decline from McCown, who was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week on Wednesday after a standout performance against Kansas City last weekend.
“He’s been consistent,” Morton said. “He’s perfect for this offense.”
The Jets, meanwhile, must figure out if they want to start McCown for another season, knowing he isn’t the long-term answer. At minimum, though, McCown provides a knowledgeable veteran presence in the QB room for young signal-callers like Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg — or a rookie, if the Jets opt to go that way in the draft this spring.
“He is just another coach,” Morton said of McCown. “When you have someone like that in your room, it’s an awesome feeling.”
Wide receiver Robby Anderson was limited in practice Thursday after tweaking a hamstring injury. Anderson was on the injury report Wednesday with the hamstring injury, but he practiced fully.
Todd Bowles said he’s not yet sure if Anderson will be able to play this weekend in Denver. Anderson was walking without a limp in the Jets’ locker room Thursday.
Linebacker and special teams leader Bruce Carter (groin) didn’t practice Thursday. Running back Matt Forte (knee), right guard Brian Winters (abdomen, ankle) and cornerback Juston Burris (concussion) were limited.
ON SECOND THOUGHT
The Jets secondary offered its worst performance of the season in Sunday’s win over the Chiefs. The unit allowed seven pass plays of 20 or more yards, including three of 40 or more yards, two of which went for touchdowns.
It was an uncharacteristic showing from the defensive backs. Before last weekend, Gang Green had allowed just four pass plays of 40 or more yards all season.
“I would look at this past Sunday as a hiccup,” defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers said Thursday. “But this is the NFL, those guys get paid too. They made a couple of plays, and we’ll adjust to them, we’ll move on.”
Marcus Maye had a particularly rough day. Travis Kelce beat the rookie safety for a touchdown in the first quarter. Maye also allowed a 40-yard completion to Tyreek Hill late in the fourth quarter.
“It was s—ty,” Maye told the Daily News of his play. “We won the game as a team, so you take a positive from that. But as far as the secondary and defense, we know what went wrong, we know what we have to do, and we just got to correct it.”