Sam Darnold On 'Boomer and Gio': Adam Gase Makes It 'Hard Not To Love Football'

Boomer and Gio
August 12, 2019 - 2:04 pm

Sam Darnold is adapting well to the revamped New York Jets coaching staff. 

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Following the Jets' eighth consecutive season without a playoff berth, the team fired then-head coach Todd Bowles. Adam Gase was named Bowles' successor and brought Gregg Williams alongside him to serve as the team's defensive coordinator. Darnold joined Boomer Esiason and Gregg Giannotti Monday to discuss the positive impact the duo has on himself and his teammates through the Jets' first preseason game. 

"The energy that he brings every day, it's awesome and contagious for guys in the locker room and in the building as well," Darnold told 'Boomer and Gio'. "It's awesome to be able to have a guy like that and also Gregg Williams on the other side. Them two bringing the energy that they bring every single day in practice, it's hard not to love football when you got guys like that coaching for you. They've been in the league and around football for so long. They know the x's and o's but the way that they lead and the way that they bring energy every single day. It's awesome to see. 

Darnold is expected to take the next step forward in his development. He threw for 2,865 yards and 17 touchdowns during his rookie campaign, adding 15 interceptions. Darnold sat out of three games last season due to a foot injury, but the ability to watch veteran Josh McCown was crucial for long-term development 

"I think the experience I got in the first half of the year was awesome. I really think it was like playing a whole first year," Darnold. said. "When I got hurt, I was able to sit back and watch a vet in Josh McCown play. Just to see how fast he played .... so I think with Josh, seeing how fast the ball got out of his hands on first and second down and even on third downs. Just putting the ball in play, making sure that we stood a chance. That's something I realized after the first half of the season and just watching Josh play. So that was a huge step for me."


Sam Darnold in Jets camp

Darnold emphasized his continuous growth in 2018. When Giannotti asked the 22-year-old if he had a 'I'm in the NFL and these guys are trying to kill me' moment, he quickly recalled his first NFL pass when the Lions' Quandre Diggs returned the pass 37 yards for a pick-6. 

"I threw it and didn't even seem real. I was like, 'what's going on man?' It was crazy, the stadium was loud as heck and I'm sure a ton of Jets' fans were doubting the pick and all that kind of stuff," Darnold said. "So I was just going back to the sideline and going back to my teammates, they were like, 'hey man, let's go. We've got a full game to play. You got to put that away....I guess that was the "oh crap" moment you were looking for.