NY Jets: Sam Darnold has been more ‘stern’ with holding players accountable

NY Jets, Sam Darnold (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
NY Jets, Sam Darnold (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

NY Jets’ quarterback Sam Darnold has been more “stern” with players when holding them accountable.

NY Jets‘ quarterback Sam Darnold has had quite the rocky first two seasons in the NFL. From untimely injuries/illnesses to a lackluster supporting cast, Darnold hasn’t had the easiest go of it thus far.

It’s safe to say that he’s still finding his footing. But at the very least, he appeared significantly more comfortable in 2019 then he did in his rookie season.

And evidently, that trend seems to be continuing now entering his third professional season.

Running back Le’Veon Bell spoke with reporters on Wednesday discussing his 2019 struggles, his relationship with head coach Adam Gase, and his expectations for 2020. Along the way, he also spoke about Darnold as well.

Bell said that Darnold was “a lot more comfortable” this year and that he was being a lot more “stern” when it came to holding players accountable. Perhaps even more importantly, Bell also said that he’s seen Darnold speak up and correct Gase from time to time.

Sam Darnold has attempted to take control of the NY Jets’ offense before.

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard about Darnold speaking to Gase in regards to changing a few things or discussing the direction of the offense. Just last year, Darnold sat down with Gase and discussed those very things.

Following the team’s disastrous 1-7 start, it was Darnold who stepped up and approached Gase with how he felt the offense should be run. The result was a 6-2 finish in which Darnold played the best football of his young career.

Was this entirely the cause of the team’s late-season surge? Probably not. But it was encouraging to see Darnold take control of the offense in the way that he did.

Based on Bell’s comments, we could be seeing more of that in 2020. We will hopefully see more of Gase and Darnold working together in a symbiotic relationship as Darnold grows more comfortable as a leader on and off the field.

It’s all part of the maturation process for a young quarterback. And to see Darnold, at just 22-years-old, make the decisions that he did and take control as he did last year, it’s hard not to be incredibly optimistic about his future.

Both Darnold and Gase will be under immense pressure to perform this season. And it’s likely in the best interest of both parties if they work together to determine what is best for the offense.

We’re witnessing a leader grow before our very eyes.

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If it wasn’t already clear, this Sam Darnold’s team now.