Next Jets test will put all eyes on ‘progressing’ Sam Darnold

The following step in Sam Darnold’s introduction to skilled soccer can be returning to a school campus.

Darnold and the Jets will observe underneath the lights Saturday night time at Rutgers within the workforce’s annual Inexperienced and White Scrimmage.

In contrast to prior to now, this received’t be a real scrimmage. Jets coach Todd Bowles did away with that when he turned the coach. However Bowles has promised extra 11-on-11 intervals than a daily coaching camp observe.

Jets gamers are able to observe in entrance of a bigger variety of followers and get away from the workforce’s coaching middle for one night time.

“Below the lights, the followers get to come back out and watch us at an important college. What extra are you able to ask for?” security Jamal Adams stated. “It’s soccer, on the finish of the day. A variety of swagger’s going to be on the market, and it’s going to be a good time for certain.”

The principle attraction for followers can be Darnold, after all. The No. 3-overall choose has practiced thrice since signing his contract Monday. Like most rookies, he has moments when he appears like his head is swimming as he tries to study the playbook. However he additionally has moments if you see why he was so extremely considered at USC. On Thursday, he ended observe with two fairly throws in a goal-line interval.

“He’s progressing,” Bowles stated. “Aim line, we will’t hit the quarterback, so a number of the throws could not have been throws, however he’s selecting up the whole lot. He simply has to maintain working, and as he sees issues each day, in addition to the remainder of the quarterbacks, they’ll get higher.”

The Jets solely have three practices after Saturday night time earlier than their first preseason sport towards the Falcons on Friday at MetLife Stadium. That can be when the quarterback competitors ratchets up. Darnold spoke this week about how a lot he’s trying ahead to competing for the starting job with Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater.

Trumaine JohnsonInvoice Kostroun

“Competitors is superior,” Darnold stated. “Once I went by means of it at SC, it was actually cool to come back out right here and compete each single day as a result of that’s what this sport is about. I believe it additionally pushes guys on the workforce when they’re seeing a vet like Josh, a vet like Teddy and me coming in and competing actually arduous. I believe it pushes everybody. There are guys at different positions which are competing for jobs as effectively. It’s simply actually superior to have the ability to come out right here on this aggressive setting and simply compete. I believe that’s the secret out right here, particularly in camp. As soon as guys’ legs begin to get a little bit bit drained, competitors I believe pushes all of us to be higher.”

Whereas the quarterbacks would be the major occasion Saturday, followers can even get a glimpse at a number of different attention-grabbing parts of the 2018 Jets. Cornerback Trumaine Johnson was the team’s big free agent signing this 12 months. They gave him a five-year, $72.5 million deal. The battles between the Jets secondary and the huge receivers are enjoyable to look at, and Johnson stated he’s enthusiastic about being underneath the lights. He’s hoping to hit somebody in a live-tackling interval.

“After all [the juices get flowing], particularly if we go reside,” Johnson stated. “I’m certain we’ll most likely go reside for a few intervals. To go on the market, man, in entrance of the followers provides you all of the juice on the earth to exit and compete.”

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