- Associated Press - Tuesday, November 15, 2016

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) - Bryce Petty was heading home to Texas a few days after the biggest game of his young NFL career to relax a little.

With the New York Jets entering into their bye-week break, the second-year quarterback had his game plan prepared.

“Put the cowboy boots on, hang out with Mom and Dad for a little bit, so it’ll be good,” a smiling Petty said Tuesday after the team’s final practice until next week. “Kind of get your mind away from things, regroup and be ready to rock and roll when we get back.”

What that means for Petty is still uncertain. He got his first NFL start Sunday in place of an injured Ryan Fitzpatrick in a 9-6 loss to the Los Angeles Rams , going 19 of 32 for 163 yards with a touchdown. But he also tossed an interception with just under two minutes left to seal the defeat.

Fitzpatrick is recovering from a sprained left knee and the time off should help the healing process. Coach Todd Bowles hasn’t committed to a starter for New York’s game against New England on Nov. 27, saying he’d make that decision next Monday.

“I’m here to play football,” Petty said. “Again, for me, it’s control what you can control. And I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: To be a good teammate, I have to be a better quarterback than I was yesterday, today. That part doesn’t change (despite) whatever is going on.”

With the Jets struggling to a 3-7 mark and their playoff prospects fading, many fans and media think Bowles should stick with Petty to see if last year’s fourth-round pick out of Baylor could be the quarterback of the future.

Bowles, however, is sticking to his philosophy of wanting to play whoever gives the Jets the best chance to win now. If the coach decides that it’s Fitzpatrick, that means Petty will go back to the sideline and wait for his next opportunity.

“Again, those are hypotheticals,” Petty said. “I try not to deal with that. Control what I can control. Being anxious, the anxiety is not something that I like to feel.

“You carry on about your business and as soon as you hear something, then you go to bat. Other than that, you try not to think about it.”

Bowles gave Petty the expected mixed review on Monday, praising him for his poise, understanding his reads and throwing some nice deep balls. The coach also pointed out some hurried throws and missed reads, typical of a player making his first start.

After watching the film, Petty agreed with Bowles. He got the Jets off to a nice start, including a 99-yard touchdown drive on New York’s second possession, but the offense couldn’t do much more against Los Angeles.

“Some good things, some bad things,” he said. “Again, there’s always positives and then construction, I guess, put it that way. There were definitely some opportunities there to make some plays. But, overall, we moved the ball. We just have to finish drives.”

Quarterbacks coach Kevin Patullo said Tuesday that Petty worked hard on studying the game plan going into the matchup with the Rams and felt he was fully prepared.

“He did what he needed to do and today we talked about it,” Patullo said. “So, there is a lot to learn from it, but I think he did some good things in there.”

Petty injured his right shoulder in the preseason finale against Philadelphia and missed a few weeks of practice time while recovering. Patullo doesn’t think that missed time stunted Petty’s development in any way.

“He was constantly with us in the classroom, so, mentally he was always there,” Patullo said. “He knew the game plan. He knew what was going on with everything there.

“Physically, obviously, all the rehab and stuff like that, that was probably the only part that he missed and then just being in our huddle, hearing me talk to him and the play calls.

“But as far as classroom, he was there every day, so, he knew exactly what was going on.”

For now, Petty will get in some family time, but work won’t be too far from his mind.

“It’s hard to get away from it,” he said. “I love it. Typically, when I watch games, it’s implementing our plays into things and how that will work. It’s hard to get away from football. It’s a good thing.”

NOTES: Defensive line coach Pepper Johnson, in one of his few media sessions of the season, opened by saying he wouldn’t answer questions about the players in his unit, which has come under criticism lately with the benchings of Muhammad Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson for one quarter at Miami last week. Johnson wouldn’t explain why he declined to talk about his players, and the session ended abruptly. … The Jets released T Jesse Davis from the practice squad. … Inspirational speaker Inky Johnson was a guest of the Jets and spoke to the players before practice. “Big thanks to @InkyJohnson for coming and talking to us today,” Petty tweeted . “Unreal testimony. It’s a privilege to hear you speak. God Bless.”


For more NFL coverage: https://www.pro32.ap.org and https://www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

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