Sam Darnold itching to build on Jets’ second-half surge

There were being no playoff proclamations coming from Sam Darnold on Tuesday.

The Jets quarterback did a fifteen-moment Zoom meeting with the media but selected his words cautiously. As the crew has just embarked on its virtual offseason and the 2020 year remains a concern mark owing to the coronavirus pandemic, Darnold was not generating any promises.

“We undoubtedly have the men to be in a position to earn soccer video games. But as we see each individual 12 months, it is about placing almost everything with each other,” Darnold explained. “Right now, we nevertheless have a long way to go. We have a good deal of meetings that we haven’t concluded however. We’ve got some men that are nevertheless discovering the playbook. There’s nevertheless a long way to go and a good deal of practices to be had as nicely. Ideal now, we’re just doing the job on ourselves and generating positive that we’re great to go. I know everyone’s just hunting ahead to heading out there and winning the 1st game, and then just after that, winning the next one particular.”

Darnold is in Southern California and explained he is throwing as often as he can, researching movie and heading via the meetings with coaches and teammates over his laptop or computer.

The 22-12 months-aged is planning for his 3rd year in the NFL and next year with mentor Adam Gase. There are high anticipations for Darnold this 12 months to produce into one particular of the leading quarterbacks in the league, just after the Jets took him No. 3 total in 2018.

The Jets also have an opportunity as a crew, with Tom Brady leaving the Patriots and the AFC East for the Buccaneers. The division feels as open up as it has in sixteen a long time.

“With a great player like Tom Brady, certainly him leaving is a big offer, it is headlines,” Darnold explained. “For us, each individual one game in the NFL is a difficult one particular. I assume any player can attest to that. We’re not heading to acquire anybody lightly even however one particular of the biggest gamers, if not the biggest player of all time, remaining the [Patriots] corporation. We’re not heading to acquire them any a lot more lightly.”

Darnold went via a tumultuous year in 2019, when he missed a few video games with mono and had a rough stretch in October that incorporated him “seeing ghosts” versus the Patriots. The Jets turned the year about in the next half, heading six-two just after a 1-7 commence, and Darnold was a big part of that. He threw 13 touchdowns and four interceptions in the next half of the year, just after throwing six touchdowns and 9 interceptions in the 1st half.

Sam DarnoldEPA

“There’s undoubtedly space to improve,” Darnold explained of his game. “Throughout the back again half of the year, I assumed I improved on a good deal of matters. I felt I got a lot more steady and was in a position to get a lot more at ease with the offense, so I assume there is certainly space to be greater for this following 12 months. For myself, I’m just striving to be as steady as feasible and enjoy at a high amount.”

Darnold has expended this offseason doing the job with his individual quarterback mentor, Jordan Palmer, in California. He explained they worked on correcting a couple parts.

“I’ve just got to clean up some matters, certainly, basically, mentally,” Darnold explained. “Just to touch on some matters basically, I’ve been doing the job on throwing to the ideal a minimal bit a lot more. I sense like occasionally when I toss to my ideal, it is all arm. I’ve been hunting into striving to stage into my throws and use a lot more of my body and my legs heading to my ideal.

“Just continuing to get the job done on deep-ball accuracy is big for me. I sense like I remaining a pair of prospects out there on the desk final 12 months. I’m hunting to strike those throws this 12 months.”

The Jets manufactured it a precedence to increase the offensive line in front of Darnold and give him a lot more weapons. They did that in the draft with the 1st two picks — deal with Mekhi Becton and wide receiver Denzel Mims. Darnold is a lover of equally.

“Obviously, Becton’s a freak athlete and a big human. I’m extremely enthusiastic to have him on our crew,” Darnold explained. “Denzel, viewing his highlights and viewing some plays he manufactured for Baylor, he’s a great playmaker. He’s got a good deal of prospective. We’re enthusiastic to have him.”