Sam Darnold

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Darnold On Gase, Williams: 'They're Going To Create So Much Energy'

February 07, 2019 - 1:58 pm
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By WFAN.com

It was an interesting rookie season for Jets quarterback Sam Darnold.

While he did not set the league ablaze during his first NFL campaign, the young QB showed flashes of the franchise quarterback the Jets expected him to be when they made him the third overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. 

Darnold threw for 2,865 yards, 17 TD and 15 INT in 13 games, having missed three games due to a foot injury.

Heading into his second professional season, the 21-year-old will team up with new head coach Adam Gase to try to get the Jets back on-track after eight years without playoff football.

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"I was fortunate enough to be a part of that process of hiring a new coach," Darnold said in an interview with Sports Illustrated. "So we had been discussing. I had talked to Gase. I had interviewed him, but we were really just talking, trying to get to know him and I had done that with a few other coaches and I really liked Gase. I really liked what he was about. I know the system that he has and all the success that he's had with other players as well.

"I just knew that with him coming in and also Gregg Williams on the defensive side, the combination of those two guys, they're going to create so much energy in the building. I think that's going to be very contagious for our team."

Since back-to-back appearances in the AFC Championship Game (2009-2010), the Jets have reached double digit wins just once (2015). 

In fact, New York has gone three consecutive seasons without topping five wins, one of the big factors that led to the firing of Todd Bowles.

Following the leadership change in Gang Green's locker room, Darnold can't wait to bring a new era of football to MetLife Stadium.

"I think it's going to be really fun to try to help this team move towards a new culture and that new era or style of what we want to do and how we want to approach games," said the young signal-caller. "I think Gase and Gregg are very similar at, just being on the attack the whole game. I got to actually face Gregg Williams when I went to Cleveland. He fricking tore me up. So I'm looking forward to watching that from the sidelines."

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Of course, no conversation involving the new head coach could go without mentioning his bizarre introductory press conference.

Darnold, just like the rest of us, couldn't help but laugh at Gase's wandering eyes.

"Yeah it was all over the place," said Darnold. "It was funny to me because I've never seen him like that. He's a super chill guy to talk to, super normal. But that was hilarious.

"I just got a good chuckle out of it. It was just funny to watch and it was even funnier because I know the guy and know that he's not like an insane person, which a bunch of people were saying. It was a funny little thing and all the memes that popped up about him were hilarious, but I think that's the cool thing is he knows. He was just like, 'Oh, maybe more people will be paying attention to the Jets now.'"