Sam Darnold, Aaron Rodgers
ESNY Graphic, AP Photo

New York Jets running back Ty Montgomery reveals what makes Sam Darnold extremely similar to Aaron Rodgers as a player.

Robby Sabo

FLORHAM PARK, NJ—The appetite to compare young Sam Darnold to any of the current or past greats is as tremendous as ever.

Fans crave it. Supporters want it. The entire New York Jets football world can’t wait to snag a glimpse of quarterback greatness, for it remains the most critical aspect to the new-age NFL that allows for high-flying play.

Enter the name of Aaron Rodgers. And introducing do-it-all back Ty Montgomery, who enjoyed playing with No. 12 for three-and-change seasons.

When asked what makes Darnold and Rodgers similar, Montgomery responded with a critical trait at the professional level.

“He’s got that little whip he does,” he said. “He can throw without his feet set … and still throw an accurate ball downfield.”

The “whip,” meaning the quick-release Rodgers displays so frequently. This is the first thing that popped in Montgomery’s mind.

“He’s got this, like … if I played quarterback, I probably wouldn’t be able to do it,” Montgomery added. “But he’s got this real quick flip. I’ve seen him throw the ball downfield. I’ve seen his feet set left and throw the ball right. He’s talented, for sure.”

The other similarity surrounds the uncanny ability to throw on the run. Darnold, even as a rookie, immediately showcased this uncoachable talent.

The quarterbacks that can thrive outside of the pocket, on the run, and, especially, when things break down and become most chaotic, are the special group of slingers. Adam Gase’s versatile back has already recognized this just a couple of weeks into camp.

Additionally, talk of improved arm strength hit the floor after Monday’s practice.

“I don’t think I realized how strong his arm was,” Gase said.

New York Jets

“It’s easy for me to call plays,” Gase said, referring to Darnold. “He’s not the kind of quarterback you’re looking to protect. You’re looking to turn him loose. … There are no limitations with him. That’s fun as a play-caller.”

Darnold, himself, cited confidence as the greatest difference of the moment. Mentioning that he worked on his hips during the offseason, and not necessarily his arm, may have helped the perceived increase in arm strength.

Ty Montgomery, Sam Darnold and the rest of the New York Jets are just two days away from the opening of the exhibition schedule. Week 1 of the preseason is slated for Thursday night from MetLife Stadium when the Giants line up on the opposite side of the line of scrimmage.

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