The NY Jets have taken their first step this offseason by hiring Robert Saleh as the team’s next head coach. The next question that the front office and coaching staff will have to answer — will Sam Darnold still be under center for Gang Green next season?
Darnold showed a lot of promise at the end of the 2019 season and drew some hype heading into 2020.
But the promise did not lead to anything as Darnold regressed tremendously, having his worst season by far in the NFL, being the worst-rated quarterback in the league and only leading his team to two wins all season.
While many Jets fans want the team to move on from Darnold and draft a new quarterback with the No. 2 overall pick, many NFL insiders seem to think the Jets will stick with the former third overall pick.
While some may be disappointed with this decision, fear not. There is still a chance for Darnold to turn this around, particularly with Mike LaFleur coming in as offensive coordinator.
The NY Jets could salvage Sam Darnold’s career in Mike LaFleur’s system
LaFleur will bring in a system that can salvage Darnold’s Jets career. It will highlight what Darnold does well while masking his weaknesses.
The system will be very similar to the offense of the San Francisco 49ers, where LaFleur was the passing game coordinator. The offense will be based off of a zone running scheme, consist of tons of play action, and have a passing game that will make life a little easier for Darnold.
The system uses pre-snap motion to create favorable matchups and short passes to set up some of the bigger shots downfield. The reason that this offense can work for Darnold is because it’s quick and one-read based.
The offense will have many variations that are meant to confuse defenses. Darnold will not need to sit in the pocket for long, using the short horizontal routes to create space.
He’ll just have to be accurate within 15 yards. Something that can give him the confidence and the momentum to turn his career around.
Play-action passes and rollouts are another feature of the offense, something that Darnold is fairly good at. His few bright spots of the season often came outside of the pocket when he was trying to create.
Ultimately, if Darnold can’t get it done in this offense he is not the guy. I know fans want something new, but you have to cut the young quarterback some slack given that he was coached by one of the worst in a very predictable offense.
If you allow Darnold to reset, it may just work. Remember he is still young. At just 23-years-old, he is still younger than the likes of Josh Allen, Baker Mayfield, Lamar Jackson, Daniel Jones and Joe Burrow. He still has plenty of time to turn it around.
Keep faith in Sam Darnold if he’s given another chance Jets nation. This offense will provide him with a great opportunity to succeed, thanks to Mike LaFleur.