Ultimate magazine theme for WordPress.

Jets expect ‘much different Sam Darnold’ in Week 1 versus Panthers

1


On the NFL’s “Quarterback Revenge Tour,” it isn’t as hyped as Tom Brady visiting the Patriots in Week 4 or even Matthew Stafford going head-to-head against Jared Goff in Week 7.

But Sam Darnold’s Panthers against Zach Wilson’s Jets on Sunday is a storyline that adds intrigue to a rebuilding matchup that otherwise offers the second-fewest combined 2020 win total between Week 1 opponents. Jets (two) against Panthers (five) is just slightly more appetizing than Jaguars (one) against Texans (four).

Eighty-one days passed between the Jets hiring coach Robert Saleh and trading Darnold to the Panthers to make way for drafting Wilson. No practices happened during that time, but the new Jets coaches have plenty of old internal film on Darnold.

“It’s good to have the internal part, just to know him as a quarterback,” Saleh said last week. “But he’s going into a completely different scheme, with completely different rules, with different personnel. Everyone is going to see a much different Sam Darnold.”

Sam Darnold
AP

Darnold finished the preseason on a high note, completing 19 of 25 passes for 162 yards and two touchdowns against the Steelers. He admitted last week that he has shared with his new team “some personnel things, nothing crazy” about the Jets defensive players.

“It’s been a great environment to play in,” Darnold told reporters. “The people of Charlotte are great. Out in the public, it’s been awesome to be able to interact with fans. In a big city, people either don’t recognize you — or when they recognize you, it’s a big deal. Either way here, when people recognize you, they just calmly ask for a picture and it’s nothing more than that.”

The Panthers passed on drafting Justin Fields and Mac Jones — two rookies who had eye-opening preseasons — for Darnold, hoping he would “benefit from a reset,” as general manager Scott Fitterer put it.

“I’m trying to keep things that work and trying to get rid of bad habits,” Darnold said. “Trying to keep my feet calm in the pocket and understand my progressions … and hit the open guy.”

Darnold was reunited with Robby Anderson and given two better playmakers — Christian McCaffrey and D.J. Moore — than he ever had with the Jets. It’s a mixed bag of game-planning film because the Panthers had a different quarterback (Teddy Bridgewater) last year and the Jets had a different defensive scheme.

“There’s stuff that we put on tape that exposes us as a defense,” Saleh said. “There’s the play-caller, there’s Carolina, there’s a lot of different [variables]. The first game is always a crapshoot, but you do the best you can to show guys what may or may not happen.”



Source

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.