The New York Jets have a good problem at quarterback: Multiple options.
After drafting Sam Darnold with the No. 3 overall pick, the Jets owned the luxury of allowing him to learn behind veteran Josh McCown. Then Teddy Bridgewater began turning heads in offseason workouts.
New offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates said Wednesday that Darnold is in the running for the opening day starter gig if the rookie continues to handle everything the Jets toss his way.
“Are we giving him bits and pieces of the offense or are we throwing everything at him? We’re throwing everything at him,” Bates said, via Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. “If he can handle it, if he can prove that he’s the starter, then that will take place when the time comes.”
It’s not a shock that a highly drafted quarterback should get a chance to start. It’s notable, however, with two veterans also vying for the gig.
Bates gushed about Darnold’s ability to handle “everything we’ve thrown at him.”
“Watching him execute football on the practice field is pretty exciting,” Bates said. “He’s going out there performing at a high level against a very good defense that has shown us every look, every blitz, and he’s able to handle it. He doesn’t show a lot of emotion, but when you drive a post route in there for 40 yards, you don’t have to hide that emotion. You just did something very cool. I think he’s having fun.”
In a perfect world, Darnold would win the starting gig outright, McCown would mentor the rookie through any rough patches, and the Jets would trade Bridgewater for draft capital. Perfect scenarios rarely happen in the NFL, but the Jets are finally in a solid place with their signal-callers.
Heading into training camp, Darnold taking a step towards corralling the starting gig should provide a breath of fresh air for Jets fans long-suffocated by their QB play.