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Sam Darnold had a tough time sitting through film
09-01-2019, 08:58 AM
Post: #1
200
Sam Darnold had a tough time sitting through film
of the game. New York Jets fans certainly know the feeling.After throwing four interceptions in an ugly 13-6 loss at Miami on Sunday New York Jets Hats , the rookie quarterback shouldered the blame and was looking for answers."For me, it's just not playing to the best of my ability and, quite frankly, just playing stupid," Darnold said Monday. "I thought I played stupid football yesterday and I've just got to be better. I know that, the coaches know that and everyone knows that."Well, yeah.But Darnold isn't alone. Not by any stretch.Most of the venom from frustrated fans on social media and sports talk radio was directed at coach Todd Bowles, whose hold on his job has become increasingly tenuous as the Jets (3-6) head toward another year 鈥?it would be eight straight 鈥?without making the playoffs."I'm sick of losing," second-year safety Jamal Adams said after the game. "I'm not a loser. I want to get back on the winning track. We've lost three straight? Come on, man."This is now a franchise staring at a crossroads.The Jets have a home game Sunday against the bumbling Buffalo Bills (2-7), who somehow look even more inept than their AFC East counterparts."I think it's huge," Bowles acknowledged. "It's our next game. It's a division rivalry. ... Winning takes care of a lot problems and a lot of issues. It's important for us to win the next ballgame."A loss at MetLife Stadium will raise the heat under Bowles' seat to scorching levels. And, it could force owner Christopher Johnson to seriously re-evaluate things 鈥?especially with the team heading into a bye-week break."People are obviously a little upset, a little disappointed, coming off three straight losses," defensive lineman Leonard Williams said. "We definitely needed this one. It was a division game and we talked all week about how important it was for us to get this win."And, they still lost.But there are enough culprits to share the blame."It's not just Sam, it's the team, period," Bowles said. "Yesterday, it was mainly the offense. It was tweaks here and there, but we just have to play better and execute as a whole."Darnold, of course, had his worst game to date. Center Spencer Long had several wayward shotgun snaps because of a reinjured right middle finger before Bowles finally pulled him from the game. Jeremy Bates' offense seemed stuck in neutral, and wide receivers rarely gave Darnold a target. And, even the normally sure-handed Jermaine Kearse had a few drops and capped a bad day by forgetting where he was on the field before catching a pass late in the game while standing out of bounds."I'm very concerned because we didn't score a bunch of points the last three weeks," Bowles said. "We've got to find a way to execute better and get it right."Darnold's OK with pointing the finger at himself. But it has raised the thought he might be best served sitting for a week just to clear his head while 39-year-old backup Josh McCown takes the field.A quarterback change, however, doesn't appear to be in the plans."Not at this time," Bowles said, "no."Darnold, the No. 3 overall draft pick, leads the NFL with 14 interceptions and has struggled during the last three games. He said "I thought I played bad" on Sunday and added he thought the offensive line "blocked their butts off."Still, the Jets scored six points and have 33 in their last three games combined."I've just got to play smarter, play better New York Jets Womens Hoodie ," he said. "Yeah, I definitely feel like I forced some things (Sunday), but at the same time, I feel like there were some throws where I was second-guessing myself and I could've pulled the trigger."The last thing the Jets want is for their still-developing franchise QB is to become increasingly gun-shy."I think it's just me at some moments in the game getting in my own head," Darnold said. "I've just got to stay true to my progressions, stay true to the confidence that I normally have, and just go out there and sling it."The defense was mostly solid, allowing just 168 total yards, the second fewest under Bowles. That included 104 yards passing, the lowest under Bowles.Yet, the Jets still came up short in a game they all acknowledged they should have won."I think the biggest consensus overall, for the players and for the coaches and as an organization, we all know that sticking together is what's going to help us continue the season," Williams said. "If we start dividing now, if coaches start dividing from players and players from players and coaches from coaches 鈥?any type of division in this organization 鈥?is only going to hinder us." Hello? Is this thing on?Well, in each of their games this season, the New York Jets have had moments during which their sideline headsets briefly malfunctioned."It's been three games, and I'm not making excuses, but three times our headsets failed us," offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates said Thursday. "Not throwing anyone under the bus, but the button stopped working. We've tried to correct it."Bates stands on the sideline during games while calling plays and sending them through headsets to quarterback Sam Darnold. When the headsets fail, Darnold can't hear anything from Bates."Obviously, we understand that that can happen anytime," Bates said, "especially in New England."That drew a few chuckles from reporters, of course. The Patriots were accused by some teams — and, ultimately, cleared — a few years ago of tampering with headsets at Gillette Stadium.But, it has been an occasional issue over the years for teams in stadiums around the NFL, where they experience interruptions in their headsets. Electrical systems and inclement weather are the most common culprits.The Jets have had to work around those issues at Detroit, at home against Miami and at Cleveland."We've come up with a system and we tried that system in Cleveland and we had to call a timeout," Bates said. "So, we are still growing with that. But as far as the communication with Sam, he's extremely bright, he can spit out the plays."There are certain situations where we have wristbands when the plays are a little bit longer. So Womens Customized New York Jets Jerseys , we do that, we do a little bit of both. As far as getting in and out of the huddle, I think it's been good execution."Bates said the Jets test their headset equipment before every game, but the technology simply fails sometimes.There will be frustrating moments of static radio interference and others when there's nothing at all on either end."I've always said that it's amazing," Bates said. "I don't know how to do it, but I guess you can FaceTime people in China, but our headsets go out."Jets coach Todd Bowles acknowledged that there have been technical difficulties this season, but it's nothing new."I mean, it's part of the game," he said. "It happens every year. There's quite a few games that it happens in, so that's something you have to adjust. That's why you go over signals all the time, and you kind of move on from there. That's part of technology. It's going to be around for a long time, so that's not a big deal. We just adjust and move on."If one team's entire headset system goes out for an extended period of time, the other team has its headsets turned off, too, so that neither has an advantage."It's got to be out consistently," Bowles said. "But if one guy goes out and it sputters, you just move on and you play. You don't waste timeouts doing that."Aside from the occasional technology-related communication issues, Bates has been mostly happy with the way his rookie quarterback has performed to start his career.Darnold has been solid at times and shaky at others, which is to be expected. He mentioned that he needs to be more decisive with his reads, something with which Bates agreed."We've got to go through our progression fast, we've got to believe in it and he's going to continue to do that," Bates said. "Obviously, he's still young, but when he believes in his progression and he believes in his stroke, good things happen. We are going to continue to work on that. He's going to work on that this week, he's going to work on it next week and he's going to work on it the rest of his career. You can always play faster, no matter what year you are."Darnold began his NFL career by playing three games in 11 days, which is certainly a tough task. He has three touchdown passes and five interceptions, and his 72.0 quarterback rating ranks him 28th in the league.But by no means does Bates think expectations should be lowered for Darnold and the rest of the Jets' offense because the 21-year-old QB is still feeling his way through things."Absolutely not," Bates said. "Everyone is in the National Football League. This is a professional business, and he would say the same. He expects a lot out of himself and so do we."NOTES: WR Terrelle Pryor was added to the injury report after tweaking his groin during practice. Bowles characterized it as "sore," but wouldn't elaborate. ... TE Neal Sterling (concussion) and WR Charone Peake (hamstring) didn't practice. ... OLB Josh Martin was a full participant for the first time since suffering a concussion in the Jets' third preseason game. ... S Marcus Maye (ankle/foot), CB Buster Skrine (knee) and S Doug Middleton (knee/finger) were limited.
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