Veteran Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Norman believes rookie quarterback Sam Darnold is ahead of time and raved about his performances in training camp with the New York Jets.
There is nothing more appetizing for a cornerback than a rookie quarterback. In the majority of cases, first-year quarterbacks are easily deceived. That leads to defenders wanting to play them with the feeling they can easily fool them into a mistake. However, once in a blue moon, in comes a rookie that does not seem to be easily tricked. Rookie quarterback Sam Darnold looks like he could be one of those special players.
Tuesday was the last day of three joint practices between the Jets and the Washington Redskins in Richmond, Virginia. The two teams will face each other on Thursday in the second preseason game of the year.
During those practices, reports say Darnold did very well, being able to take several reps with the first team as he is expected to start in the game against the Redskins. It seems the rookie is not only impressing coaches and fans but opponents as well.
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“He’s like, putting them on the money. But then you go to 7-on-7 and it’s like, ‘OK, pass, catch here. Right there. But doggit, this little kid is not making mistakes. And he’s like, he’s really accurate.”
Normally as a competitor, Norman does not want the opposing quarterback to be aware of the danger. Nonetheless, Darnold is very conscious that defenders want him to fail and will do whatever it takes to disappoint them.
“You know, you get rookies in here and you try to mess with them and bait them a little bit and thinking he’s going to throw a route that you know you can make a play on and he’s not having it. It’s so crazy to see at an early age. Dak (Prescott) had that, Carson (Wentz) has that, so it’s like, man, they must come in here and not want to screw it up. He’s so far, he’s impressed me and I didn’t want him to. That’s the main thing.”
This could all be forgotten on Thursday if Norman picks one of Darnold’s passes. For now, the Redskins defender only knows what he saw and it was good. Tuesday afternoon, the former USC quarterback went 11 of 19 passing and threw two touchdowns – including one in the two-minute drill. He ran 28 reps, 23 of which came with the Jets first-team offensive line.
After a good performance against the Atlanta Falcons, Darnold will need to step it up a bit as the competition for the Jets quarterback starting job is far from over. Let’s see if Norman is correct and Darnold has that accuracy and awareness to impress the rest of the NFL. However just a preseason game, this could be vital to determine who will start Week 1 of the 2018 NFL regular season.