Despite temperatures creeping above ninety degrees during portions of yesterday’s Jets practice in Florham Park New Jersey, the Jets offense, led by Sam Darnold and Teddy Bridgewater, couldn’t avoid the odd cold spell. It wasn’t a perfect day for the QB’s, but they did both have moments that gave plenty of reason for optimism.
The pair of signal callers handled the vast majority of reps yesterday while Josh McCown got a breather as the team prepares to take on the Atlanta Falcons this Friday night, and one man in attendance was more dialled in than most spectators as General Manager Mike Maccagnan took an extended look from the sidelines.
You couldn’t help but wonder if Maccagnan was able take in what he may have just done by trading up to get Darnold, thinking he may have finally solved the team’s decades-old problem at quarterback. Especially as he watched the quarterback creep up to the line, read the defense and call an audible before orchestrating a big play. Or seeing Darnold go through his progressions, finding his third, fourth or even fifth option on a given pass play.
Maybe a laser throw through tight coverage while rolling to his right with his eyes staying down field under pressure was enough to do it too. Enough to let Maccagnan smile a little bit inside as the General Manager and Jets fans everywhere wait with great anticipation to find out if they have “their guy” or not.
It’s the most important position in all of sports, but for decades, one Jets GM after another has dropped the ball when it was time to find a quarterback. Whether it was Dick Steinberg, Rich Kotite, Terry Bradway, Mike Tannenbaum or John Idzik, none were able to find the answer under center. Bill Parcells almost did it once when he found Chad Pennington, but then Pennington was injured. When he came back, defenses had figured out that Pennington couldn’t sing it beyond the intermediate stuff, and the injuries kept coming.
The last two quarterbacks taken in the first round for the Jets were Mark Sanchez and Chad Pennington. For a team that has struggled to find a quarterback for so long, they’ve spent a surprisingly low number of first-round picks on the position for one reason or another. That ended a few months ago when the Jets traded up and stole Darnold, and now we wait and see if Maccagnan becomes the first GM in almost fifty years to find a franchise quarterback for Gang Green. Outwardly, Maccagnan was what he always is. Calm, cordial and measured. If he was doing backflips inside, nobody would blame him.
Other observations and standouts from camp yesterday:
- As mentioned above, it was a hot and cold day for the QB’s. Darnold didn’t throw an incomplete pass during his first session, but plenty of balls hit the turf from that point on. Between miscommunication, misfired balls and a handful of drops, the offense never found any rhythm under any of the QB’s.
- DB Coach Dennard Wilson demands a lot from his cornerbacks. During individual drills, his no-nonsense approach stood out as he continually demanded players repeat a poor rep until they got it right.
- Charone Peake finally had the red jersey come off and had himself a nice catch and run for a TD from Darnold.
- Trenton Cannon left practice with a foot injury that Todd Bowles said he would find out more about after practice.
- When Marcus Maye departed for a bit after pulling up lame after a play, Doug Middleton once again filled in and played well in his place. If Middleton doesn’t make this roster, it would be quite a surprise, even given the depth the Jets have at the position.
- Outside linebackers are getting an extended look as Frankie Luvu and Brandon Copeland got more reps with the 1’s, and Obum Gwacham flashed off the edge again.
- The Jets released their first official depth chart today. Don’t bother looking at it. If you do, and it makes you unhappy in any way, you haven’t been paying attention to how these things work.
- If Anthony Garcia is protecting Sam Darnold’s blind side at any point against the Falcons, let’s hope every pass play is a rollout to the right. If Garcia is a flop at LT, don’t be surprised if Dakota Dozier is asked to fill in for a spell.
Another day of camp kicking off in a few hours, folks. Be sure to follow us on twitter @JetNation and @AceFan23 for live updates.
*Updated from original version