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Why do you think Sam Darnold hasn’t been good in the NFL


NYJets43
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The Panthers are now looking to bring in Ben McAdoo to see if he can fix Sam Darnold. 
 

A lot of people (myself included) really thought Darnold would be good. Why do you think he ultimately hasn’t? What qualities does he lack?

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This will be his 4th offensive coordinator who has tried to fix him right? Bates, Gase/Loggains, Brady and now McaDoo. Not sure why it didn’t work for him but it’s tough to predict QB success for these kids coming out of college 

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41 minutes ago, NYJets43 said:

The Panthers are now looking to bring in Ben McAdoo to see if he can fix Sam Darnold. 
 

A lot of people (myself included) really thought Darnold would be good. Why do you think he ultimately hasn’t? What qualities does he lack?

No idea what people saw in him to begin with.. he's not an elite athlete.. he's not an elite 'student of the game'.. he's not a 'leader of men'.. He's not a 'gamer' or a guy who loved football..

He was.. ok. All over. That can fly at the college level with some talent around you, but I don't how people got fooled that it was going to work in the NFL.

Then the legend seemed to perpetuate itself because a couple people predicted he'd go high in the draft and it seemed like it snowballed into him being drafted as the 2nd QB. His numbers weren't good and the 2017 season looked like a talented team that had a middling QB..

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Teams get enamored with physical attributes of a QB and their ability to throw a ball.  Tall, sturdy, athletic-looks like central casing, like Troy Aikman.

But in reality, what is between the ears is the most important body part for a QB.  It does not get enough attention.  Baker Mayfield looks like a Hobbit but is a better QB than Darnold because he can think better.  Give John Dorsey credit for that.  And even Josh Rosen got drafted at the top of that round. 

I do believe that someone smart could figure out an offense and way for Darnold to be successful. But it has not happened yet.  Bates was probably closest. 

When he goes home he should sign up with John Beck.  They are actually neighbors. 

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He's sloppy, can't keep mechanics together consistently, and doesn't have that mental clarity to just execute. Also looked weird in the part. His dropback passing always felt forced, no comfort, no smoothness in his game. One could fault us for not providing him enough support but I believe that he just had a learning issue. He would work with "guru" palmer all summer and come back with worse mechanics every time. 

He's always due for a weird throwing motion, and a throw that's impossible to figure out what he actually saw in it. He overthinks and crumbles under pressure. When he starts doing bad, he rarely gets it together instead of spiraling further into suck. 

Very talented player and athlete who could pull off some crazy things, but just not a good QB. A car crash that sometimes ended up parallel parking is how I'd describe it in analogy form. 

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Switching offenses did not do Sam any favors..I thought he was light years better under bates than under Gase….Christopher Johnson and Mike Macagnan really have to take the blame for not getting proper coaching and plus Sam was here for years and never got Sam a quality OL or a decent WR for him to throw to and don’t say Robby “I can’t break a tackle “ Anderson was that guy. As the years went by he got into bad habits from poor coaching…A QB is like tree you straighten them out while they are young or else they will grow crooked.


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He rose up draft boards on the back of one great collegiate game as a freshman.  One.  And nearly all of us got duped as a result.  Nevermind that he led all of FBS in turnovers his final year at USC.  Damn the torpedoes, he's a top prospect!

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Sam Darnold was a fundamentally flawed college QB who needed to be drafted by a team that had a long term plan to develop him and who understood that he SHOULDN’T have started right away and that had quality players around him; unfortunately he was drafted by the Jets had none of these….. 
 

Hence Darnold never sat as he ahould have and was never developed organizationally so he isn’t very good at the day now. 
 

You are what your record says you are we have been told and this case Darnold’s film overall doesn’t lie, Darnold isn’t a very good NFL QB right now and it is more than likely he never will be. 

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4 hours ago, win4ever said:

I'll try to take a deep dive on this one:

I tried to scout him back then (went to combine, but he didn't throw), and it's nearly impossible to get All-22 tape from college unless you know someone (I didn't back then).   Admittedly, I didn't do as much scouting on him, because from all reports I thought he was a lock to go No. 1 and we weren't getting that pick.  

1.  The media will always hype up prospects.  There is no downside.  They get views and views with various angles, and if the player sucks, it gets mostly blamed on the coaching staff.  Darnold got hyped after the PSU Rose Bowl game, as tank worthy stud:

That's the pass tape from the TV angle, and you can still clearly see the issue with him.  He doesn't set his feet well, and he's just not a good progression read.  I can't break down the whole film, and I don't have the All-22, so I'll do one example from above video:

2:10, to the left of the formation.  The defense seems to be in 2 high man, and the offense seems to be running a slant/flat or slant/out.  In this case, Darnold is expecting the outside defender to stick to the outside because he has safety help in the middle.  All he's doing is reading this pre-snap, expecting outside corner to maintain outside leverage and allow an easy inside release.  Therefore, as soon as the slot defender is cleared, Darnold takes the pass.  However, the outside cornerback is playing press coverage and this is a pass that is getting batted down in the NFL.  The read here is to take the quick out as soon as he sees press cover from the outside cornerback and slot defender playing back.  

Anyway, if you watch just those clips and realize this was his "Star Making" game, you see how the instant classic nature of the game elevated the evaluation on him.  I'm not going to lie, I thought the media knew what they were talking about (especially after I fell hook line and sinker for Mariota and it blew up)

2.  He can't read defenses, neither can a lot of college QBs.  Almost all of them operate under the sideline audible rule, which means if they get up to the line and it's not a good look, all of them turn to the sidelines for an audible.  It saves time both in game, and with the amount the QB has to know.  

His main issue is he doesn't understand defensive shells and how they can shift post snap, hence why Belichek gives him so much trouble.  He makes he read at the line, and then panics his way through progressions.   If his primary read is taken away, he's a check down guy, which is why he looked halfway decent when CMC was healthy this year.  He's not the type that sees a safety move post snap and deduces the curl route that should be option 3 is now option 1.  

I think we all laughed at Gase for not allowing him to audible, but there is some credence to the aspect that Darnold just wasn't good enough at making the right reads.  This often leads to late throws that he can get away with in college, but can't in the NFL.  

3.  His feet are horrible.  I know Orlovsky hyped up his off-platform throws, but it almost seems like Darnold is always off-platform.  He doesn't set his feet right at times because I think he panics through his reads.  This goes back to the issues with reading progressions, because it's as if he's shocked the first read isn't open, and his mind is adjusting faster than his legs.  

Unfortunately, this is the same fear with Wilson, and hopefully he's able to correct it going forward.  

Off-platform throws are great when necessary, but both Darnold and Wilson have a tendency to rely on them in clean pockets.  He tends to make too many off-balance or flat footed throws that just won't cut it in the NFL. 

4.  His OLs have always been horrible and that exasperates the issues that he faces.  Essentially, he got paired in the worst situation for his skill set.  He didn't have the stud receiver as the coverage eraser, and then had to deal with a terrible line.  He wasn't in the ideal situation to develop any QB.  

It also plays into one of his weaknesses, which is pocket integrity.  In the face of pressure, he likes to float back in the pocket (both Wilson and Lawrence have this issue as well), which then leads to protection issues because the tackles don't know if the QB stepped back or up in the pocket.  

5.  As with any overhyped QB, people fixate on some traits and overvalue them.  For Darnold, he has a good arm, good touch, and ok mobility.   The lack of reads are hard to discern as fans unless you have those All-22 angles. which means you sort of have to rely on the media takes for that aspect.  

I don't think he's a completely lost cause, because the main issue (IMO) is still mental.  If he can get better at making reads, then he has the tools to be an average QB.  I'm just not sure that scenario is likely anymore.  

Excellent analysis!

Thank you!

You doing alright?

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4 hours ago, win4ever said:

I'll try to take a deep dive on this one:

I tried to scout him back then (went to combine, but he didn't throw), and it's nearly impossible to get All-22 tape from college unless you know someone (I didn't back then).   Admittedly, I didn't do as much scouting on him, because from all reports I thought he was a lock to go No. 1 and we weren't getting that pick.  

1.  The media will always hype up prospects.  There is no downside.  They get views and views with various angles, and if the player sucks, it gets mostly blamed on the coaching staff.  Darnold got hyped after the PSU Rose Bowl game, as tank worthy stud:

That's the pass tape from the TV angle, and you can still clearly see the issue with him.  He doesn't set his feet well, and he's just not a good progression read.  I can't break down the whole film, and I don't have the All-22, so I'll do one example from above video:

2:10, to the left of the formation.  The defense seems to be in 2 high man, and the offense seems to be running a slant/flat or slant/out.  In this case, Darnold is expecting the outside defender to stick to the outside because he has safety help in the middle.  All he's doing is reading this pre-snap, expecting outside corner to maintain outside leverage and allow an easy inside release.  Therefore, as soon as the slot defender is cleared, Darnold takes the pass.  However, the outside cornerback is playing press coverage and this is a pass that is getting batted down in the NFL.  The read here is to take the quick out as soon as he sees press cover from the outside cornerback and slot defender playing back.  

Anyway, if you watch just those clips and realize this was his "Star Making" game, you see how the instant classic nature of the game elevated the evaluation on him.  I'm not going to lie, I thought the media knew what they were talking about (especially after I fell hook line and sinker for Mariota and it blew up)

2.  He can't read defenses, neither can a lot of college QBs.  Almost all of them operate under the sideline audible rule, which means if they get up to the line and it's not a good look, all of them turn to the sidelines for an audible.  It saves time both in game, and with the amount the QB has to know.  

His main issue is he doesn't understand defensive shells and how they can shift post snap, hence why Belichek gives him so much trouble.  He makes he read at the line, and then panics his way through progressions.   If his primary read is taken away, he's a check down guy, which is why he looked halfway decent when CMC was healthy this year.  He's not the type that sees a safety move post snap and deduces the curl route that should be option 3 is now option 1.  

I think we all laughed at Gase for not allowing him to audible, but there is some credence to the aspect that Darnold just wasn't good enough at making the right reads.  This often leads to late throws that he can get away with in college, but can't in the NFL.  

3.  His feet are horrible.  I know Orlovsky hyped up his off-platform throws, but it almost seems like Darnold is always off-platform.  He doesn't set his feet right at times because I think he panics through his reads.  This goes back to the issues with reading progressions, because it's as if he's shocked the first read isn't open, and his mind is adjusting faster than his legs.  

Unfortunately, this is the same fear with Wilson, and hopefully he's able to correct it going forward.  

Off-platform throws are great when necessary, but both Darnold and Wilson have a tendency to rely on them in clean pockets.  He tends to make too many off-balance or flat footed throws that just won't cut it in the NFL. 

4.  His OLs have always been horrible and that exasperates the issues that he faces.  Essentially, he got paired in the worst situation for his skill set.  He didn't have the stud receiver as the coverage eraser, and then had to deal with a terrible line.  He wasn't in the ideal situation to develop any QB.  

It also plays into one of his weaknesses, which is pocket integrity.  In the face of pressure, he likes to float back in the pocket (both Wilson and Lawrence have this issue as well), which then leads to protection issues because the tackles don't know if the QB stepped back or up in the pocket.  

5.  As with any overhyped QB, people fixate on some traits and overvalue them.  For Darnold, he has a good arm, good touch, and ok mobility.   The lack of reads are hard to discern as fans unless you have those All-22 angles. which means you sort of have to rely on the media takes for that aspect.  

I don't think he's a completely lost cause, because the main issue (IMO) is still mental.  If he can get better at making reads, then he has the tools to be an average QB.  I'm just not sure that scenario is likely anymore.  

Great read, thanks for the work of putting that together. What do you think of his accuracy?  That seems to be a big issue with him. Ball placement in the NFL is so important not only in completing the pass but also in leading to yards after the catch. The tighter windows and more equal talent levels between DBs and WRs compared to college have been too much for him to handle. 

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I'll try to take a deep dive on this one:
I tried to scout him back then (went to combine, but he didn't throw), and it's nearly impossible to get All-22 tape from college unless you know someone (I didn't back then).   Admittedly, I didn't do as much scouting on him, because from all reports I thought he was a lock to go No. 1 and we weren't getting that pick.  
1.  The media will always hype up prospects.  There is no downside.  They get views and views with various angles, and if the player sucks, it gets mostly blamed on the coaching staff.  Darnold got hyped after the PSU Rose Bowl game, as tank worthy stud:
That's the pass tape from the TV angle, and you can still clearly see the issue with him.  He doesn't set his feet well, and he's just not a good progression read.  I can't break down the whole film, and I don't have the All-22, so I'll do one example from above video:
2:10, to the left of the formation.  The defense seems to be in 2 high man, and the offense seems to be running a slant/flat or slant/out.  In this case, Darnold is expecting the outside defender to stick to the outside because he has safety help in the middle.  All he's doing is reading this pre-snap, expecting outside corner to maintain outside leverage and allow an easy inside release.  Therefore, as soon as the slot defender is cleared, Darnold takes the pass.  However, the outside cornerback is playing press coverage and this is a pass that is getting batted down in the NFL.  The read here is to take the quick out as soon as he sees press cover from the outside cornerback and slot defender playing back.  
Anyway, if you watch just those clips and realize this was his "Star Making" game, you see how the instant classic nature of the game elevated the evaluation on him.  I'm not going to lie, I thought the media knew what they were talking about (especially after I fell hook line and sinker for Mariota and it blew up)
2.  He can't read defenses, neither can a lot of college QBs.  Almost all of them operate under the sideline audible rule, which means if they get up to the line and it's not a good look, all of them turn to the sidelines for an audible.  It saves time both in game, and with the amount the QB has to know.  
His main issue is he doesn't understand defensive shells and how they can shift post snap, hence why Belichek gives him so much trouble.  He makes he read at the line, and then panics his way through progressions.   If his primary read is taken away, he's a check down guy, which is why he looked halfway decent when CMC was healthy this year.  He's not the type that sees a safety move post snap and deduces the curl route that should be option 3 is now option 1.  
I think we all laughed at Gase for not allowing him to audible, but there is some credence to the aspect that Darnold just wasn't good enough at making the right reads.  This often leads to late throws that he can get away with in college, but can't in the NFL.  
3.  His feet are horrible.  I know Orlovsky hyped up his off-platform throws, but it almost seems like Darnold is always off-platform.  He doesn't set his feet right at times because I think he panics through his reads.  This goes back to the issues with reading progressions, because it's as if he's shocked the first read isn't open, and his mind is adjusting faster than his legs.  
Unfortunately, this is the same fear with Wilson, and hopefully he's able to correct it going forward.  
Off-platform throws are great when necessary, but both Darnold and Wilson have a tendency to rely on them in clean pockets.  He tends to make too many off-balance or flat footed throws that just won't cut it in the NFL. 
4.  His OLs have always been horrible and that exasperates the issues that he faces.  Essentially, he got paired in the worst situation for his skill set.  He didn't have the stud receiver as the coverage eraser, and then had to deal with a terrible line.  He wasn't in the ideal situation to develop any QB.  
It also plays into one of his weaknesses, which is pocket integrity.  In the face of pressure, he likes to float back in the pocket (both Wilson and Lawrence have this issue as well), which then leads to protection issues because the tackles don't know if the QB stepped back or up in the pocket.  
5.  As with any overhyped QB, people fixate on some traits and overvalue them.  For Darnold, he has a good arm, good touch, and ok mobility.   The lack of reads are hard to discern as fans unless you have those All-22 angles. which means you sort of have to rely on the media takes for that aspect.  
I don't think he's a completely lost cause, because the main issue (IMO) is still mental.  If he can get better at making reads, then he has the tools to be an average QB.  I'm just not sure that scenario is likely anymore.  
Presnap he doesnt seem to get it either .. nice writeup

.... Richard Todd, Ken OBrien, Chad Pennington, Mark Sanchez, Genope, Sam Darnold ...


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9 hours ago, NYJets43 said:

The Panthers are now looking to bring in Ben McAdoo to see if he can fix Sam Darnold. 
 

A lot of people (myself included) really thought Darnold would be good. Why do you think he ultimately hasn’t? What qualities does he lack?

Mental toughness and talent?

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6 hours ago, Jetsfan80 said:

He rose up draft boards on the back of one great collegiate game as a freshman.  One.  And nearly all of us got duped as a result.  Nevermind that he led all of FBS in turnovers his final year at USC.  Damn the torpedoes, he's a top prospect!

That’s not true. He put together a historically good season as a freshman. He took a struggling team and got them into contention (ultimately winning the Rose Bowl). 
 

He was also very young when he entered the draft (year and a half younger than Wilson)

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7 hours ago, win4ever said:

I'll try to take a deep dive on this one:

I tried to scout him back then (went to combine, but he didn't throw), and it's nearly impossible to get All-22 tape from college unless you know someone (I didn't back then).   Admittedly, I didn't do as much scouting on him, because from all reports I thought he was a lock to go No. 1 and we weren't getting that pick.  

1.  The media will always hype up prospects.  There is no downside.  They get views and views with various angles, and if the player sucks, it gets mostly blamed on the coaching staff.  Darnold got hyped after the PSU Rose Bowl game, as tank worthy stud:

That's the pass tape from the TV angle, and you can still clearly see the issue with him.  He doesn't set his feet well, and he's just not a good progression read.  I can't break down the whole film, and I don't have the All-22, so I'll do one example from above video:

2:10, to the left of the formation.  The defense seems to be in 2 high man, and the offense seems to be running a slant/flat or slant/out.  In this case, Darnold is expecting the outside defender to stick to the outside because he has safety help in the middle.  All he's doing is reading this pre-snap, expecting outside corner to maintain outside leverage and allow an easy inside release.  Therefore, as soon as the slot defender is cleared, Darnold takes the pass.  However, the outside cornerback is playing press coverage and this is a pass that is getting batted down in the NFL.  The read here is to take the quick out as soon as he sees press cover from the outside cornerback and slot defender playing back.  

Anyway, if you watch just those clips and realize this was his "Star Making" game, you see how the instant classic nature of the game elevated the evaluation on him.  I'm not going to lie, I thought the media knew what they were talking about (especially after I fell hook line and sinker for Mariota and it blew up)

2.  He can't read defenses, neither can a lot of college QBs.  Almost all of them operate under the sideline audible rule, which means if they get up to the line and it's not a good look, all of them turn to the sidelines for an audible.  It saves time both in game, and with the amount the QB has to know.  

His main issue is he doesn't understand defensive shells and how they can shift post snap, hence why Belichek gives him so much trouble.  He makes he read at the line, and then panics his way through progressions.   If his primary read is taken away, he's a check down guy, which is why he looked halfway decent when CMC was healthy this year.  He's not the type that sees a safety move post snap and deduces the curl route that should be option 3 is now option 1.  

I think we all laughed at Gase for not allowing him to audible, but there is some credence to the aspect that Darnold just wasn't good enough at making the right reads.  This often leads to late throws that he can get away with in college, but can't in the NFL.  

3.  His feet are horrible.  I know Orlovsky hyped up his off-platform throws, but it almost seems like Darnold is always off-platform.  He doesn't set his feet right at times because I think he panics through his reads.  This goes back to the issues with reading progressions, because it's as if he's shocked the first read isn't open, and his mind is adjusting faster than his legs.  

Unfortunately, this is the same fear with Wilson, and hopefully he's able to correct it going forward.  

Off-platform throws are great when necessary, but both Darnold and Wilson have a tendency to rely on them in clean pockets.  He tends to make too many off-balance or flat footed throws that just won't cut it in the NFL. 

4.  His OLs have always been horrible and that exasperates the issues that he faces.  Essentially, he got paired in the worst situation for his skill set.  He didn't have the stud receiver as the coverage eraser, and then had to deal with a terrible line.  He wasn't in the ideal situation to develop any QB.  

It also plays into one of his weaknesses, which is pocket integrity.  In the face of pressure, he likes to float back in the pocket (both Wilson and Lawrence have this issue as well), which then leads to protection issues because the tackles don't know if the QB stepped back or up in the pocket.  

5.  As with any overhyped QB, people fixate on some traits and overvalue them.  For Darnold, he has a good arm, good touch, and ok mobility.   The lack of reads are hard to discern as fans unless you have those All-22 angles. which means you sort of have to rely on the media takes for that aspect.  

I don't think he's a completely lost cause, because the main issue (IMO) is still mental.  If he can get better at making reads, then he has the tools to be an average QB.  I'm just not sure that scenario is likely anymore.  

This is a terrific write up.

Darnold is just a fascinating case study, because you see games in which he looks really good in. 
 

In 2019 he played one of his best games against the Cowboys and then the next week looked like the worst QB I have ever seen vs the Pats. 
 

 

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