Sam Darnold had good things to say about the New York Jets and Adam Gase.
Sam Darnold’s first two years in the NFL have been anything but smooth sailing. Aside from playing for a dysfunctional New York Jets organization, the 23-year-old quarterback dealt with a foot injury as a rookie and mononucleosis last year, sidelining him for three games apiece.
However, heading into his third season, Darnold is feeling much more comfortable with the organization and being an extension of head coach Adam Gase’s coaching staff, per Jets reporter Ethan Greenberg.
“I’m very confident in that,” he told reporters on a virtual call on Tuesday. “Spending so much time with coach Gase, especially before last year, just trying to learn this offense as fast I could, it was definitely a process. I spent hours and hours trying to learn it every single day and I’m still doing that. I’m still learning the offense, but I’m definitely comfortable teaching some of the young guys and the guys who haven’t been in this system before. I’m just really excited to get that rolling.”
Darnold went 7-6 as a starter last season, throwing for 3,024 yards and 19 touchdowns to 13 interceptions. With so many new faces on offense, it’d be easy to feel overwhelmed, but the third-year signal caller seems to be in his comfort zone and ready to step up as more of a leader.
“I’m really excited to be part of this organization,” he said. “I think we’re going in the right direction and we just have to continue to move forward. We have to have a great strength and conditioning period these next couple of weeks, moving into walk throughs and then having a great training camp.”
In regards to the team’s incoming rookies, Darnold had high praise for the Jets’ culture.
“Another thing that we’ve really established over this last year or so is culture and I think the rookies are going to come in right away and feel that culture,” he said. “We’re going to take them in with open arms and teach them all about it.”
In recent years, the term “Jets culture” would evoke a laugh or an eye roll more than anything else. Only time will tell if Darnold, Gase and the Jets organization are ready to give that phrase a new and improved meaning.