Jets offensive coaches heap praise on QB Sam Darnold
By Luke Easterling
The New York Jets have one of the NFL’s most promising young quarterbacks in Sam Darnold, and his new coaches can’t say enough good things about him.
Just a little more than a year ago, the Jets made the bold move to trade three second-round picks just to move up three spots in the 2018 NFL draft, hoping to secure one of the top quarterbacks in the class.
They landed Sam Darnold, a one-year starter who flashed tantalizing potential at USC.
The Jets had traded up for a one-year USC starter at the top of the draft before in Mark Sanchez, but he never fully lived up to expectations. The jury is still out on Darnold, but the early returns have his new offensive coaches thrilled about working with him:
Wide receivers coach Shawn Jefferson lauded Darnold’s work ethic and commitment (via team reporter Olivia Landis):
It’s everything in the way he works. He’s here early in the morning and he stays after. He probably doesn’t leave this building until six or seven at night. I’ve been so impressed with this kid’s work ethic, and the way that he attacks everything. It’s just been awesome to see a young kid like that. It’s almost like he’s been here before. He’s a young guy but he has a lot of veteran attributes to himself: how he prepares, how he studies, stuff like that. I’m so excited for him going forward.
Offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains has been impressed with Darnold’s ability to pick up the new playbook following the coaching change after just one season:
I’ve been really impressed with him and with his ability to pick up what we’ve given him. Just the way he’s coming to work, and really the leadership skills that you’ve seen. Helping him to become another coach on this field has been impressive to this point.
As a rookie in 2018, Darnold made 13 starts for the Jets, and while the team managed just a 4-9 record with him at the helm, there were flashes of brilliance that should have Jets fans thrilled about his future. Darnold finished his first NFL season with 2,865 yards, 17 touchdown passes and 15 interceptions, completing 57.7 percent of his passes and adding another 138 yards and a touchdown on the ground.
There are many reasons for the Jets’ new coaching staff to be excited about their chances of making a quick turnaround in 2019, but it all starts with Darnold. His limitless potential should give fans hope of a return to the playoffs sooner than later.