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Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

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Jim O’Neil discusses facing Bryce Petty instead of Ryan Fitzpatrick

Dec 6, 2016 at 11:01 AM--


New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was benched during Monday night's playoff-eliminating 41-10 loss to the Indianapolis Colt at MetLife Stadium. He was replaced by Bryce Petty. Immediately following the game, head coach Todd Bowles announced that Petty would start the remainder of the season for the Jets.

"The plan was for us to start him the last four games anyway, so we just started a half early," said Bowles. "We could have won 45-0, and he was going to start the last four games. That's the slot we had penciled in for him. That's a good time to take a look at him."

San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Jim O'Neil was asked if this changes anything for him. "Yeah, we went into yesterday thinking that we would get Fitzpatrick," said O'Neil. "As we're game planning and scripting and doing some stuff last night, Bryce Petty ends up getting the job and Todd Bowles comes on and says they were going to go with him the last four weeks.

"It doesn't change a lot. It changes some things, but ... real strong arm. Obviously, he's a real young quarterback. He does have weapons around him – Brandon Marshall. They've got a very good backfield in Bilal Powell, C. J. Spiller, [Matt] Forte. I don't think, with Chan Gailey, their offense will change much. He's going to run his system. It's been a proven system in this league. He's had a lot of success.

"He does have a big arm and he can make all the throws so we'll be prepared for him."

"It's a great opportunity for me, obviously," Petty said following the Jets' loss. "I didn't want it to be this way. I'd much rather have us in the same situation we were in last year, trying to make the playoffs. But what I do know is opportunities are few and far between in this league, and you have to capitalize on any chances you get. I'm going to work my ass off."

Petty was a fourth-round pick by the Jets out of Baylor in the 2015 NFL Draft. He has 32 completions in 59 attempts for 317 yards, two touchdowns, and three interceptions during his NFL career. On Monday, Petty completing 11 of 25 passes for 135 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions. Sunday's game against the 49ers will be just his second NFL start.

For the 49ers, Colin Kaepernick, who was also benched on Sunday, will start against the Jets. Offensive coordinator Curtis Modkins made the announcement today. Kaepernick completed just one of his five passes for four yards before being replaced by Blaine Gabbert.





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