Jets CEO on Sam Darnold: ‘I think we’ve got a real future with this kid’
New York Jets CEO Christopher Johnson on Tuesday laid it all on the line by proclaiming that one day Sam Darnold will be heralded as the catalyst that led the team to greatness.
“I think people are going to look back — I honestly think they’re going to look back 20 years from now and say this is the moment the Jets shifted into a new year, that they became a great team,” Johnson told reporters at a charity event, via ESPN.
Darnold of course will face an inordinate amount of pressure due to where the Jets took him in the draft, not to mention with the scrutiny that comes with playing quarterback in New York.
That said, Johnson admitted he felt the Jets “got a little lucky” that Darnold was still on the board at No. 3.
“I absolutely think he can be our quarterback of the future,” Johnson said. “I’m not the GM, I’m not the head coach, but I can recognize a great football player and he’s so good at playing football when everything goes wrong, when the pocket collapses.
“When it all goes to hell, he can throw across his body. He can throw when his feet are in the wrong place. He can do a lot of things that are hard to teach.”
Unlike the situation in Cleveland where the Browns coaching staff is pumping the brakes on the possibility of Baker Mayfield starting this season, it appears the Jets will give Darnold every opportunity to seize the top spot on the depth chart despite veteran Josh McCown’s presence.
Darnold reportedly impressed onlookers with his performance during the Jets’ rookie minicamp last week. Just as encouraging, perhaps, is how Darnold claimed to be solely focused on fitting in as a rookie and learning the playbook, not what the future, imminent or otherwise, holds.
“I think we’ve got a real future with this kid and he’s not even 21 yet,” Johnson said. “We might have a long time with this young man. I hope so because right now I really think he’s our future.”