It was practice number three for Jets rookie QB Sam Darnold in a session that would start outdoors under the sun, before being forced inside when the lightning sirens sounded at about the half way point. What were some of the takeaways for Darnold and the Jets? Let’s take a look.
As was the case the day before, Darnold mixed it up a bit in terms of which units he worked with. There were a handful of first and second team reps for the rookie QB and he seemed comfortable working with both units. His ability to throw on the run showed once again as he drilled a touchdown pass to Clive Walford in the back of the end zone on his second attempt in goal line drills. His first score came one play earlier, when he lofted a pass off of play action to rookie fullback Dimitri Flowers. The ball was placed perfectly in tight coverage and fell in to Flowers’ arms.
It’s only a few practices, but if Darnold continues to make plays like this when pre-season games roll around, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be under center come week one.
Often times we’ll hear people ask which unit “won the day”? Was it the offense or the defense? Today would have been a tough day to call. The offense was gashing the defense for one big running play after another while the teams were outdoors, but once indoors, the defense had several stuffed runs that led to some jubilant celebrations. Leonard Williams, who was terrorizing the offense all day long, teamed with a fired up Jamal Adams to stuff Bilal Powell who was trying to get in to the end zone to start goal line period. The biggest hit of the day probably came on another run play that saw Jordan Jenkins bust through into the backfield and level the ball carrier.
A few other observations from day six:
- Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater were solid as neither threw any interceptions during team periods. McCown did manage a touchdown pass during goal line period but there were none for Bridgewater. As practices have progressed, Bridgewater does appear to be throwing the ball with a bit more authority. A good sign as pre-season games approach.
- One of the young stars of camp thus far, rookie cornerback Parry Nickerson was slow getting up after covering a deep route and had to be helped away by trainers. After taking a long look at his right leg, Nickerson was doing some light jogging, so hopefully nothing serious.
- Quincy Enunwa sat out for what is now being reported as a thumb injury that will keep him sidelined for a couple of weeks.
- Neville Hewitt is an interesting player. Listed as an ILB but played safety at Marshall. He had a solid day for himself and you could see him being a piece who intrigues Todd Bowles.
- Isaiah Crowell had another good day and caught the ball well. He’s not viewed as an all-around back by some, but he did have 40 catches in Cleveland two seasons ago. He can be a legitimate every down back.
- Nathan Shepherd did a nice job of beating blockers and disrupting a few pass plays as well as picking up at least one tackle for loss.
- On a few occasions, ArDarius Stewart’s ability to change direction was evident as Darnold targeted him on several quick pass plays.
- Darnold also showed good awareness in his first set of goal line reps, pulling it down and scrambling in for a score when none of his receivers appeared to gain separation.
- After a relatively slow start to camp, tight end Clive Walford has strung together a pair of good practices, finding himself targeted significantly more than camp’s first few days.
- Another good day for Obum Gwachum coming off the edge. Gwachum certainly isn’t Von Miller, but given the Jets lack of a pass rush, he could be playing himself in to a key role in 2018.
No practice today for Gang Green and they’ll be at Rutgers tomorrow night for the Green and White scrimmage.at Rutgers.