Sam Darnold 'hasn’t flinched,' could start at Jets QB, coordinator says

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The Jets like what they see with rookie quarterback Sam Darnold.

In fact, offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates reaffirmed what others in the franchise have been saying. Bates said Darnold, who was the No. 3 overall pick out of April’s draft, has a chance to be a starter from the beginning of the 2018-19 season. 

He went on to say that Darnold has done a “really good job” and “he hasn’t flinched” with everything that has been thrown at him in rookie camp. 

“If you treat them like a rookie, they’ll become a rookie,” Bates said, via the New York Post . “So we threw the whole book at him to see what he can handle and what he needs to work on—just like the other two—and he’s done a really good job. Ever since rookie camp, he hasn’t flinched.”

Bates added: “We’re throwing everything at him. If he can handle it, if he can prove that he’s the starter, then that will take place when the time comes.”

The coach explained more about Daronold’s playmaking ability and gave praise to the rookie’s quick thinking and how he’s able to ad-lib.

“His suddenness,” Bates said. “If you watch his college tape, he has the ability to make plays off schedule. He’s just very sudden. If he sees a guy open, the ball is out now. I kind of describe him as a very sudden player. There’s not a lot of wasted thought process, as you go from him thinking to releasing the ball.

Jets CEO Christopher Johnson shared similar thoughts on Darnold last month saying, per, “I really think he’s our future.” 

Head coach Todd Bowles said last month Josh McCown is projected to be the starter, but Darnold can and will be allowed to win the job in training camp if he is the better quarterback.