The New York Jets have a new offense under head coach Adam Gase, and quarterback Sam Darnold believes his unit can do some real damage in 2019.
After a solid rookie season with plenty of flashes of the talent that made him a top-five draft pick last year, Jets quarterback Sam Darnold is learning a new offense yet again.
But this time around, the former USC star is much more comfortable with his surroundings, and ready to take his game to the next level thanks to his familiarity with teammates and the NFL game.
Darnold is excited about being able to focus solely on learning the new scheme under new head coach Adam Gase, rather than having to get acclimated to the league like he did in his first pro season (via team reporter Olivia Landis):
I think for me, not coming in here as the new guy, I was just really comfortable. The minute I stepped in, not really having to worry about building relationships. That’s definitely a part of it with some of the new guys we have, but for me, I think it was more just learning the offense, really going through that process a lot more, and really just grinding on that, and not so much head-spinning in terms of getting to know people. To be just super comfortable and know all the guys already, now I’m just focused on learning the offense.
Anytime a new scheme is installed and coaching overhaul takes place, fans and players alike are always excited to see what the new playbook will bring to the table.
For the Darnold and the Jets, is appears that Gase’s new system will have the team attacking opposing defenses in many different ways, depending on game situations and which weapons they want to deploy at a given time:
First of all, we’re gonna be really aggressive. But we’re gonna do in the timing of everything that’s going on. Sometimes, during a game, the best thing to do is to run the ball. 3rd-and-long, if they’re not gonna load the box, if there’s just gonna be four or five guys in the box, then we’ll probably try to run it and get a big gain that way. But we’re definitely gonna try to push the ball, potentially see some tempo here and there, so it’ll be super fun. And we’ve got a lot of weapons to be able to utilize, which is gonna be a really fun part, as well.
The Jets made one of the NFL’s biggest offseason additions when they signed running back Le’Veon Bell in free agency this year. But while Darnold is clearly excited about what the former Pittsburgh Steelers star will bring to this new offense, he has equally high expectations for the rest of his team’s dangerous weapons:
He can do a lot. I mean, he ‘s so versatile in terms of what he can do. You can line up him wide, and he can almost play receiver or you. But running the ball, first of all, he’s really good at it. He’s super patient, as everyone knows. We’re gonna attack the defense in a lot of ways, and a lot of it will have to do with him.
But also, we have a ton of guys surrounding us in this great offense, I think, that’s gonna do a lot of damage. I think it’s gonna be really fun.
Darnold and his crew showed flashes of brilliance last year, and the return of young playmakers like Robby Anderson, Quincy Enunwa and Chris Herndon should help the unit take the next step in Gase’s new offense.
Bell isn’t the only new addition the offense made this offseason, either. Jamison Crowder, one of the most talented and explosive slot receivers in the league, should give Darnold yet another versatile weapon who can attack opposing defenses in many different ways at ever level of the field.
It’s been eight years since Jets fans tasted playoff football, but Darnold and this new offense could be exactly what the team needs to get them back to the postseason for the first time in nearly a decade.