There’s the incumbent who played well a season ago in Josh McCown.
In corner two, it’s Teddy Bridgewater, the veteran with something to prove coming back from injury.
And then there is the rookie phenom, the guy the Jets traded up to get in this year’s draft, Sam Darnold.
Conventional wisdom would have suggested that starting a rookie right out the gate would be an imprudent move for head coach Todd Bowles and the Jets.
After all, you have two legitimate veteran options to allow Darnold to ease his way into the NFL. However, sometimes you have to let that “conventional wisdom” go out the window.
The Jets are not a win-now franchise in 2018. That’s just the reality.
This season, for better or worse, was always going to boil down to Sam Darnold and his progression.
The Jets selected him in the top five of this year’s draft, eventually he was going to be on the field.
And so far, Darnold’s performance in training camp is receiving rave reviews. It goes beyond his impressive preseason debut.
You take preseason numbers with a grain of salt, but there’s a look, there’s an “it” factor, that franchise quarterbacks have in this league.
So far, Sam Darnold passes that eye test.
You hear about it in practice, and Friday’s preseason game reminded me of Sam Darnold at his best at USC.
There’s nothing surprising about his skill set. If you’re the New York Jets, why waste any time.
Sam Darnold is the franchise. As a rookie, he does not appear to be the least bit overmatched by the demands of the position.
Why start McCown or Bridgewater when neither has a long-term future on a team that doesn’t have lofty 2018 goals. Let’s see what Darnold’s got!
Of course there will be growing pains. Of course it will be anything but perfect in his rookie season, but that’s the point.
The Jets should want to get those growing pains out of the way for the new face of the franchise.
Starting right out of the gate worked for Peyton Manning, Russell Wilson, Matt Ryan and, most recently, Carson Wentz.
Only time will tell if Sam Darnold can join that list, but he’s in the ideal spot, with limited expectations in his first year and the perfect veteran mentor at his side in Josh McCown.
It’s time for Sam to be the man!
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