New York Jets QB Sam Darnold grew up far from the glitter and lights of New York City. However, he now finds himself with the opportunity to change the fortunes of a franchise desperate for success. How is he acclimating to his new surroundings?
When the New York Jets drafted Sam Darnold with the third pick of the 2018 NFL Draft, it ended almost 18 months of courting that seemed destined for both to eventually wind up together.
Since Darnold burst upon the scene leading USC to dramatic comeback victories and showing the talent that makes NFL franchises drool over, fans of the New York Jets were dreaming about him leading their franchise to success they haven’t tasted since we first put a man on the moon.
In an interview with WFAN’s Mike Francesca, Darnold explained how he is handling his first rookie training camp and his experience taking in the “city that never sleeps.”
“I actually visited New York City for the first time a couple weeks ago and it’s a lot bigger than LA,” “The buildings when you’re actually on the street, looking at the buildings and everything that’s going on when you’re in NYC, it’s pretty crazy. But it’s awesome, too. The people are amazing, I feel like everyone is in a rush wherever they’re going. So, it’s a little bit different in that regard.”
“I think the biggest thing for me is coming to work every day,” Darnold said when asked what he wishes to accomplish in his first days as a Jet. “It sounds cliché but it’s so true. Just doing my job every single day in the classroom, on the field – and by classroom I mean film room. Being able to study and learn the playbook. Learn from guys like Teddy (Bridgewater), from Josh (McCown), guys like (Christian) Hack(enberg). Guys who have been there and have more experience than me.
“Just going to learn as much as I can in the short amount of time that I have to learn. So, just going to step in there, be myself, do my thing and lead the way that I lead.”
Darnold finds himself in a safe position for now. He has two veteran quarterbacks to guide him. His ability to take in the offense and let his natural talent flow will determine how successful he will be in his first step to getting this franchise where it wants to go.
While everyone that has ever rooted for this organization is desperate to taste the consistent success of a winner, it is important that the front office and fans let Darnold grow into the role that can change his life forever.
Jets fans have seen the failures of Richard Todd, Ken O’Brien, Browning Nagle, Glenn Foley, Chad Pennington, Mark Sanchez, Geno Smith, Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg. Every time this franchise has drafted a “savior” things have not panned out.
While fans can dream big, it is important that the first steps getting Darnold and the Jets to the top are perfected. Championships were not built in one day.