Sam Darnold kicked off his first preseason with a solid performance against the Falcons. Can Darnold continue to impress against the Redskins in Week 2 and make his way up the New York Jets depth chart?
Keep improving every day. That is what New York Jets rookie quarterback Sam Darnold has been doing ever since training camp started. Darnold missed the first three days of training camp due to an issue with his rookie contract; but when he finally signed, he was ready to roll.
Darnold has been improving and impressing the coaching staff during training camp and did so as well in the preseason opener against the Atlanta Falcons. Darnold finished 13 of 18 with 96 yards and a touchdown in the Jets 17-0 win against the Falcons.
This week, the shift focuses to the Washington Redskins in Week 2 of preseason action. The Redskins hosted the Jets for three joint practices and the competition was very heated. There were a number of altercations after the whistle during the practices, but one player that was not rattled at all was Darnold.
According to a tweet from Rich Cimini of ESPN.com, Darnold was perfect in the team periods:
So here's some perspective on Sam Darnold: He just spent three days practicing against the #Redskins. Unofficially, he took 70 reps in 11 vs. 11 periods. Attempted 36 passes. Not a single interception. #Jets
— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) August 15, 2018
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One player that has been trying to rattle Darnold all week is Redskins cornerback Josh Norman, but he hasn’t been successful yet. The Redskins cornerback had high praise for the rookie quarterback when asked about him after the last practice on Tuesday. Here is what Norman had to say about Darnold according to an article from NewYorkJets.com reporter Eric Allen:
“Someone asked me about him the other day, and I was like, yeah, whatever, he’s just a guy. Then you go out here and see him making these throws and you’re like, all right. That’s not so much a college-level throw. He’s putting them on the money.”
This week was another step in Darnold possibly taking the starting quarterback job. He showed great poise and accuracy in these joint practices and the coaching staff is hopeful that Darnold’s strong practices will lead over to the game on Thursday night.