Training Camp is right around the corner, and the big question is still entirely up in the air: who will be the Jets starting quarterback on Monday night in Detroit? Will it be veteran Josh McCown, Teddy Bridgewater, or rookie Sam Darnold? All three reportedly have a shot at the starting job, and all three will be followed intensely throughout training camp and preseason.
The main belief among Jets fans is that McCown will be the teams signal caller when the season begins, giving Darnold a few extra weeks to prepare. Jets fans are scared of rushing Darnold onto the field and possibly ruining his career. But Darnold is no Mark Sanchez, and definitely no Geno Smith. He will be ready for the big stage the minute the season begins.
Darnold’s life is strictly football. He has no off-field issues, no problems. He doesn’t even own a Twitter account. Having said this, he’s constantly playing/studying, preparing for the season. He’s been taking in info since the day he walked through the doors of the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center.
Darnold is miles ahead of where anyone projected him to be. So far, he’s handled everything the Jets coaching staff has thrown at him, and if he continues to do so, why not start him? As Todd Bowles said just days after the draft, there’s no need to rush him into the offense, but there’s no need to hold him back either.
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Offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates has been all over Darnold thus far. Rather than giving him the rookie treatment (as the Jets gave Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty), Bates has been throwing anything and everything at Darnold. While speaking to the media, Bates said “We threw the whole book at him and see what he can handle (and) what he needs to work on just like the other two. He has done a really good job. There is lot of information there.”
The Rookie’s Timetable
The more games, the better for Darnold. Let him get as much field time as possible this year with the starters. Let him adapt to the NFL environment. The more field time he gets, the more he will progress. He is only 20 years old, and if he gets started early, he could go for a long, promising career.
Of course, if he isn’t prepared, there is no reason to rush Darnold onto the field week one. But if he continues to make huge strides in terms of learning the scheme, keeping him on the bench will only slow him down.