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It’s Official – Jets name Sam Darnold the Week 1 Starter

Photo Credit Daniel De Mato

New Year, New QB

No more guessing, the Jets starting quarterback has officially been announced. All eyes will be under center as the Jets and Lions take the field to play under the Monday Night Football lights at Ford Field. When the Jets rookie quarterback Sam Darnold makes his first career start.

The news came in a press conference on 9/3 when Coach Todd Bowles was asked who will start game one? Giving his first definite answer Bowles said “Sam (Darnold) will be starting Monday night.”

But what gave Bowles the confidence in the rookie over Josh McCown a veteran leader?  “It was close obviously. Sam had a good preseason. We weren’t holding him back, but we weren’t rushing him at the same time. He still has some things to learn, but his poise in the pocket and the way he grasped the offense coming in right away and the guys gathered around him and absorbed him coming and playing football. He gives us a very good chance to win.”

Coach Bowles notes that Darnold was able to win over his teammates day by day in the spring as well as the preseason little by little. The team was more impressed by how quickly he grasped the offense rather than his impressive throws he adds. “It’s not so much the throws, but the grasp of the offense, the checking of the audibles and understanding and just being a team guy. I think he’s won them over by being just one of the guys and doing his job.”

The decision, and reaction

Obviously a tough decision but one the coaches believe will help them win now “I think I can win with both. I think Sam’s growth gives us a chance to win with him right now and that’s who I’m going with.”

For the rookie to come in and win the job over two capable veteran quarterback shows a lot. “That’s just him. He loves to compete and whether it was a starter or a backup, I think he would have been fine. Like I said, we didn’t hold him back but we didn’t rush him either. He just came in with a work hard mentality and kept his head down and he earned it. It says a lot about him.”

How did each quarterback react to the news? “They both were good. They are both professional. They both were good. Let’s go try to win a game.”

With the support and professionalism of each quarterback it proves how much of a team first guy Josh McCown “Josh has been like that since he walked in the door, before he was even a starter last year when we played Hack (Christian Hackenberg) in the preseason the second and third game. He’s always been trying to help players out as well as compete, and that’s what you love about him because he’s a great team guy. You always want guys backing up that want to start, at least they want to play. We feel like we’ve got two good quarterbacks. ”

Coach Bowles in his Monday press conference said time and time again that Darnold gives this team the best chance to win.  With the confidence the staff has in their quarterback and this team as a whole it should leave Jets fans excited and optimistic for this 2018 NFL season.


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