Friday May Be The Jets Most Important Pre-Season Game In A Long Time

Now that hard part starts for Sam Darnold.

With the first pre-season game on Friday, the rookie quarterback now has a chance to get some real action, something usa sportsbooks will be very interested in seeing.

So will Jets head coach Todd Bowles. And Darnold should get a lot of looks.

“He’s getting a lot,” Bowles said. “He’s getting a good dose. He’s getting a dose just like Josh (McCown) and Teddy (Bridgewater). He got a good feel in the pocket, but he is getting the same dose as everyone else.”

Bowles doesn’t know what the quarterback situation will be on Friday against the Falcons. Who will be starting and how long each signal caller will play. But expect all three to get a good amount of time to play.

We all know what both Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater will give the Jets. The key is keeping both of them healthy. But Darnold is going to be different. First you have to see if he’s all caught up after sitting out the first few days of training camp.

“It’s hard to tell,” Bowles said. “That is hard to tell. I think he’s caught up on what he does offensively, as well as Josh and Teddy, but the defensive packages go in every day too. So, he’s not seeing the base, he’s just getting caught up on the base three days that the defense has put in and get used to seeing everything. But like I said, he is sharp and he studies and I don’t see him behind as far as catching up mentally.”

And if that’s well and good then there is the other issue of underthrowing the ball, which has been an issue early on in camp.

“I don’t think he struggles, I think that’s part of it,” Bowles said. “I think everybody on the field is just working to get better. It’s not Sam struggling, there’s days when defense misses some things and individual positions, it’s just part of being in camp. It’s part of being a quarterback and part of the position. I am very happy where he is right now and we’ll go from there.”

That’s well and good, since he has a month left in camp to get out the jitters. But Friday will be crucial for Darnold if he wants the starting job on Week 1. If he performs well, then Bowles may start giving him the majority of the reps, while relegating McCown to the backup and Bridgewater could be shopped.

On the other hand, if he seems too green under that green uniform, then McCown may get the majority of the reps and Bridgewater could become more important to the franchise.

So you can see why this game is so important, besides the normal run of the mill, pre-season stuff.

“When you install there is going to be stuff and an adjustment period every day, and as they install the defense will see things and as the defense installs the offense is going to see things,” Bowles said. “It’s up to the rules and coming down to the rules, and since you’re not game planning, you’re liable to see anything from either side of the ball. You kind of playing by feel a little bit, but nothing they can’t handle on either side of the ball.”

Football is upon us.

About the Author

Joe McDonald

Joe McDonald is the founder and former publisher of NY Sports Day. After selling to i15Media in 2020, he serves as the Editor-in-Chief and responsible for the editorial side of the publication. In the past, Joe was the managing editor of NY Sportscene magazine and assistant editor of Mets Inside Pitch. He has covered the Mets since 2004.

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