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Here comes Cimini linking the Jets to a possible decision with Trevor Lawrence

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He's starting this train early.

https://www.espn.com/blog/new-york-jets/post/_/id/84145/if-sam-darnold-sputters-jets-will-face-complex-question-trevor-lawrence

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Rich Cimini

ESPN Staff Writer

Quote

A few days after his team drafted quarterback Sam Darnold No. 3 overall in 2018, New York Jets CEO Christopher Johnson was still on Cloud 14. Speaking at a charity function, he told reporters that it would be remembered as a franchise-altering decision.

"I honestly think they're going to look back 20 years from now and say that this is the moment that the Jets shifted into a new gear, that they became a great team," said the understated Johnson, not known as a headline-maker.

News flash: The Jets (0-1) are not a great team. They aren't even mediocre.

They're 11-22 in the Darnold era, a 33-game span in which their offense has produced the fewest yards in the NFL. His performance in the Week 1 loss at Buffalo was eye-opening in that there were at least a half-dozen self-inflicted mistakes, which sent the fan base into a state of chaos (correction: a deeper state of chaos than usual).

For the Jets, was it just a bad day at the office, or was it an alarming harbinger?

If it's the latter -- if the marriage between Darnold and coach Adam Gase ultimately fails -- the foundation on which the franchise is built will be broken and worthless. It's all about the quarterback and his coach. That's the way Johnson wanted it last season, when he made the unorthodox decision to pair Gase -- a losing coach with the division-rival Miami Dolphins -- with his young prodigy.

If the team continues to sputter, the Jets will be forced to confront a question that right now is too uncomfortable for them to consider: Draft another quarterback?

The Jets don't want to be in that position, drafting so high that Clemson star Trevor Lawrence -- or another top quarterback prospect -- is a viable option. They still believe in Darnold, who has a $4.6 million guarantee in 2021 and a potential $25 million guarantee in 2022 (estimated amount of his fifth-year option). They love his work ethic and leadership traits. Although there's some concern about persistent mechanical flaws, they're confident that talent will prevail -- and he has a lot of natural ability.

But after 27 starts by Darnold, who is 11-16 with 37 touchdowns and 29 interceptions, can the Jets say definitively that he is their long-term future? No, not yet. He's still an inconsistent quarterback.

If they have to tear it down, with a new coach or new quarterback or both, it will set the Jets back years -- an all-too-familiar path for this star-crossed franchise.

Here's the scariest part: It will be difficult to get an accurate read on Darnold because his supporting cast, suspect under ideal circumstances, is getting weaker by the week. On Tuesday, the Jets placed running back Le'Veon Bell on injured reserve, which means he will be out for at least three games. No offense to Frank Gore, 37, one of the sport's all-time tough guys, but his days as a lead back are over. He can get you through a game or two, but a month? That's asking a lot.

Unlike fellow Class of '18 quarterbacks Lamar Jackson (Baltimore Ravens) and Josh Allen (Buffalo Bills), Darnold doesn't have a strong infrastructure to help his development. In some ways, he's on his own, surrounded by a new offensive line and a patchwork cast of skill players. Not only that but Gase's playcalling doesn't accentuate his strengths, which are playing with tempo and making throws outside the pocket.

"I just have to get him more in rhythm early in the game," Gase said, alluding to Darnold's 1-for-7 start, which contributed to three three-and-outs in the team's Week 1 loss.

Playcalling and supporting cast aside, Darnold needs to be better with his fundamentals (namely, footwork) and his decision-making. He made several poor plays against a good Bills defense, none worse than his out-of-bounds sack at the end of the third quarter. That is the one that left NFL observers shaking their heads.

Down 21-10 with a chance to get back in the game, Darnold was flushed to his right. Wide receiver Jamison Crowder was wide-open along the right sideline, 25 yards downfield -- about 5 yards beyond his man. It should've been an easy pitch-and-catch, one that could've gone for a long touchdown. Darnold was looking in that direction, yet he inexplicably held the ball and got tackled in front of his stunned coach on the sideline.

 

Once he decided that Crowder was a no-go, Darnold should have thrown the ball away. That's Game Management 101.

"Inexcusable," Darnold said after the game.

Darnold is not a rookie anymore -- he has played more than 1,600 snaps in the NFL -- so his lack of awareness Sunday was confounding. It happened on his interception, too. Flushed to his left, with a chance to run for a first down, he threw an against-the-grain floater to the middle of the field, violating one of the cardinal rules of quarterbacking. It was a jump ball to the 5-foot-9 Crowder, the smallest player on the field.

He didn't make excuses -- he never does -- and that's an admirable trait.

"My timing needs to be better," Darnold said. "I think I did hurry some things. I feel like just at the beginning of a game, I've just got to relax and take a deep breath, ease myself into it and make the throws when they're there."

Technically speaking, Darnold said he needs to quiet his feet and make sure his feet are tied to his eyes. That, he believes, will improve his accuracy. This was a point of emphasis in the offseason, when he worked with his personal coach, Jordan Palmer, in Southern California.

Quite frankly, his footwork has been an issue since his final year at USC, where he was plagued by turnovers. Darnold doesn't have textbook mechanics, but he has an innate ability to go off-script and make "wow" plays. That's his most endearing quality. Former NFL quarterback and ESPN analyst Dan Orlovsky, an unabashed Darnold supporter, calls it "magical sloppiness." But there has to be a delicate balance. Even a gunslinger needs to follow the manual.

Darnold might have been out of sorts Sunday because it was his first game this season. He really needed the preseason, especially with new players around him. His imperfections -- inconsistent footwork, lapses in accuracy, etc. -- were exacerbated by the rust. He should be better Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers (1 p.m. ET, Fox), but you have to wonder if the makeshift offense can handle such a good defensive team.

"They're fixable," Darnold said of his issues.

If his regression becomes the narrative of the season, whether it's his fault or organizational failure, the Jets will be confronted with an inconvenient reality.

 

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If Darnold sputters it won't be a complex question.  

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Year 3. He throws like year 1, of high school. You can usually tell if you have serious franchise talent right off the bat. Even that bum Jared Goff suuucked but had the light bulb turn on soon enough. If you wait any longer than year 3, you're doomed to be.. the Jets.

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1 minute ago, pointman said:

Year 3. He throws like year 1, of high school. You can usually tell if you have serious franchise talent right off the bat. Even that bum Jared Goff suuucked but had the light bulb turn on soon enough. If you wait any longer than year 3, you're doomed to be.. the Jets.

Goff still sucks.  Rams fans don't like him.

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Just now, Jetsfan80 said:

Goff still sucks.  Rams fans don't like him.

Sure does. Buuut he makes Sam look like a USC quarterback. 

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A QB excelling within a different coach's system and a HC excelling with a different QB running his system can both be true.  This just may not be a good marriage between Sam and Gase...

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1 minute ago, peekskill68 said:

A QB excelling within a different coach's system and a HC excelling with a different QB running his system can both be true.  This just may not be a good marriage between Sam and Gase...

Gase sucks. Sure. With that said, so does Sam Darnold. He's so bad, he should open up a QB school like Whatshisname Palmer. 

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Of course he is. His job is to generate clicks and he’s catering to mouth breathing orangutans. He needs to get the article out before risking Darnold having a good game.

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2 minutes ago, Y3k said:

Of course he is. His job is to generate clicks and he’s catering to mouth breathing orangutans. He needs to get the article out before risking Darnold having a good game.

Well peel me a banana and buy me a tire swing cause I endorse this article.

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Even if the conclusion is that Gase is a terrible coach and Darnold is not a franchise QB, the coach gets way less rope in this particular situation. 

I'm betting that Gase is going to be long gone before we get the final word about Darnold.  Trevor Lawrence is a pipe dream.

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9 minutes ago, ChuckkieB said:

Even if the conclusion is that Gase is a terrible coach and Darnold is not a franchise QB, the coach gets way less rope in this particular situation. 

I'm betting that Gase is going to be long gone before we get the final word about Darnold.  Trevor Lawrence is a pipe dream.

Matt Rhule going to the playoffs on the arm of Teddy Bridgewater and the legs of Robby Anderson isn't going to be a good look for Gase...

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I don't blame Cimini.

Darnold is in his third year, and to date is a bust.  Homers may not like it, but too bad.  If his career ended today, he's a bust based on what he has done so far.

We have a ton of picks, and there is a hyped up well-regarded QB that could be the #1/#1 next year.

The story literally writes itself, and people will read it and get worked up no matter what side the stand on.

If I were Cimini, and had his job, I'd write the same story.

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3 minutes ago, Samtorobby47 said:

We will be picking 6th. We all know this. This team doesn’t know how to tank properly. 
Pull of a few wins at the end, giving them hope next year will be different. Rinse and repeat. 

But did we go into this year thinking tank? The answer is no.

So that would actually mean we're more likely to get a Top 3 pick lol 

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50 minutes ago, jetstream23 said:

The Jets don't want to be in that position, drafting so high that Clemson star Trevor Lawrence -- or another top quarterback prospect -- is a viable option.

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21 minutes ago, peekskill68 said:

A QB excelling within a different coach's system and a HC excelling with a different QB running his system can both be true.  This just may not be a good marriage between Sam and Gase...

Well said. 
And how Jets-like would it be, if we cut ties with both of them, and they go on to have very successful careers with their next teams?

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I lean to believing in Sam because I think he has talent. But look around the league the Cardinals made the right choice. I know this everyone knows, this, the Jets GM should have that in mind. 

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If Lawrence shreds it this year and the Jets are in position to draft him #1, this isn’t a discussion. They draft him. 

The more interesting discussion is if the defense is terrible (didn’t look good in Buffalo) and Darnold is merely okay with no run game or receivers and they can take Fields or Lance.

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43 minutes ago, pointman said:

Year 3. He throws like year 1, of high school. You can usually tell if you have serious franchise talent right off the bat. Even that bum Jared Goff suuucked but had the light bulb turn on soon enough. If you wait any longer than year 3, you're doomed to be.. the Jets.

Eli turned it on in year 4 and the Giants won 2 Superbowls with him.

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45 minutes ago, pointman said:

Year 3. He throws like year 1, of high school. You can usually tell if you have serious franchise talent right off the bat. Even that bum Jared Goff suuucked but had the light bulb turn on soon enough. If you wait any longer than year 3, you're doomed to be.. the Jets.

Haha, Goff is Darnold with a stable of weapons and an offensive genius calling the plays.

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51 minutes ago, Biggs said:

If Darnold sputters it won't be a complex question.  

Don't underestimate the capacity of our fans to circle wagons around our QB.

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49 minutes ago, Biggs said:

If Darnold sputters it won't be a complex question.  

Yup. I just hope we know exactly wehre things stand at the end of the season.  Either he sucks and we need to move on or he proves over the next `15 games that he is a top half of the league QB.

No more of this maybe he can be good with a better OL and solid weapons.  We just need to know.  One way or the other.

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Just now, St Louie Jet Fan said:

Trevor Lawrence would just be the next in succesion of young QBs this orginization did not support. How about hiring a competent coaching staff first.

Coach and other solid pieces.  Build the oline, wr, TE, RB and then go draft the next big thing.

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13 minutes ago, TuscanyTile2 said:

Eli turned it on in year 4 and the Giants won 2 Superbowls with him.

 

To be fair, Eli isn't really very good. 

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Way too early for this. Having said that if we have the number one pick, we run to draft Lawrence and pair him with a new coach. 

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10 minutes ago, deucebag said:

Haha, Goff is Darnold with a stable of weapons and an offensive genius calling the plays.

Goff is far superior to Darnold. And offensive genius might be a tad much. Just because you crave seeing Gase call a screen pass, or a sweep.. 

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28 minutes ago, Warfish said:

I don't blame Cimini.

Darnold is in his third year, and to date is a bust.  Homers may not like it, but too bad.  If his career ended today, he's a bust based on what he has done so far.

We have a ton of picks, and there is a hyped up well-regarded QB that could be the #1/#1 next year.

The story literally writes itself, and people will read it and get worked up no matter what side the stand on.

If I were Cimini, and had his job, I'd write the same story.

What an idiotic post. There are maybe 5 QBs in NfL history that wouldn’t be busts if their careers ended after year 2.

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