In today’s day and age, everyone seems to want everything now. Sometimes that happens, but often times it does not. Patience is a virtue after all. That is why it should come as no surprise that many people are calling for Jets rookie quarterback Sam Darnold to start sooner rather than later. There should be no rush whatsoever to get Darnold behind center. None.
You need to play the long game with Sam Darnold. When your organization deems him ready to start, then he starts but not until then.
He started for two seasons at USC and played in 27 games. He is not Andrew Luck when he came out of Stanford or Peyton Manning when he was done playing for Tennessee. He has the physical tools to be a really special quarterback, but he still needs time to develop, grow and mature as a signal caller.
Yes, he comes from a pro-style offense with the Trojans, which should help with the learning curve. But, it is also the speed of the game in which there needs to be an adjustment.
Not every quarterback that comes out of college, even the most talented ones, are ready to play right away. Nurture them and take care of them and not every experience is one that you can grow from. Some experiences could hurt a player’s development to which they never realize the vast athletic potential that they possess, just ask David Carr and the Houston Texans. Not all experiences help a players growth. It can actually hurt a player and cause that player to never reach their potential.
You have to make sure that when your ‘franchise’ quarterback is ready to play, it has to be both mentally and physically. He also needs to have the right support around him in order to be successful.
That does not mean success will be instant, there is still a learning curve and from the experience gained during a game, a quarterback will grow and hopefully improve. That is why there should be no rush whatsoever to play Darnold right away.
There is no need to do it and if anybody tells you that they should just throw him in there, shush them and preach patience. This is not about initial 2018 success, but sustained success for the foreseeable future with a solution at the quarterback position, which is the most important one in the NFL.
The legendary former Giants and Jets head coach Bill Parcells had 11 quarterback commandments during his day manning the sidelines. Amongst those 11 are know your job cold, ignore other opinions, be the same guy every day, learn to manage the game, don’t panic and don’t be a celebrity quarterback.
Some of these traits are already a part of the player that you bring into your organization and some represent a learned behavior. After losing out on Kirk Cousins in NFL free agency, Jets CEO and chairman owner Chris Johnson said the Jets will do “something pretty magnificent” in the NFL Draft and they did, as Darnold fell to them with the third-overall pick. General manager Mike Maccagnan was aggressive, which allowed the Jets to be in that fortunate position by trading up with the Indianapolis Colts for that third pick.
Darnold represents the future of the Jets and his playing time should not be decided based on pressure and expectations. You have to make sure as an organization that Darnold is ready to start and not just throw his feet into the fire and hope for the best because you can derail or lose a quarterback if you start him too soon. We have seen examples of that in the past.
Protect the asset. Nurture him and allow him to gain knowledge from the veterans that are already in that quarterback room like Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater.
Allow for the game to slow down for him before allowing him to play. Give him all the tools to be successful and then hope for just that when he starts. It is that simple and any other way would be foolhardy.
Sam Darnold was brought in to help lead the Jets out of their own quarterback darkness and into the light. You trust the player, now you must trust the process to get the best out of that player.