Jets' QB Sam Darnold Quotes 7.28.20
COURTESY OF NEW YORK JETS MEDIA RELATIONS DEPARTMENT
Brian Costello, New York Post: It looks you’re in the building. When were you allowed in the building? What has this experience been like through the last five days you’ve been around with the testing and everything? Can you take us through what this period has been like? I just got in the building today, very excited to be back. I’m excited to see some of the guys as they start coming in and getting testing done. Obviously, I was one of the first ones to get testing with the early report date for quarterbacks and rookies and all that. I’m very excited to be back though and just excited to get going and start seeing the guys as they trickle in. So, I got here Thursday, my first day of testing was Friday. So just tested that Friday, waited a couple days, tested again, and then from now on I think for a couple of weeks at least, it’s going be testing every single day before I come in the building.
Rich Cimini, ESPN: Did you have any apprehension about playing in a pandemic? Did you give any thought to opting out? You’re seeing a lot of players around the league opting out, just walk us through your thought process on that. No, I think for me, for my situation, just living in an apartment by myself, I was just very eager to get things going. Obviously, like I said, guys are going through different situations, but I’m very eager to get things going and get training camp started. So again, just very pumped to be able to be here, be in the building finally and get to see my teammates too.
Manish Mehta, New York Daily News: Sam you said last year toward the end – or maybe after the season – that you felt you were close, like the team was on the doorstep of making the playoffs or something to that effect. With that being said, how much of a hit do you guys take without having Jamal (Adams) in the building? And just how disappointed are you not to have one of the leaders back this year? I think obviously the Jamal trade and what happened there the last couple days, for me – and this is kind of the point of view I’ve always had – I’m not going to worry about things that I can’t control. I think for me, I’m just going to worry about having a good training camp and making sure that I stay safe, making sure that I have negative tests going in and just focusing on what I can control and that’s having a great training camp and winning that Week One game against Buffalo.
Mark Cannizzaro, New York Post: I’m just kind of curious how you view the challenge of you’ve got a lot of young guys coming in here, you got a new tackle you just drafted, obviously some new pieces on offense. With the way this COVID situation has reworked your practice schedule – no preseason games – how do you view that challenge to try to get these guys ready, kind of, you as a leader here? I think obviously I have my part in talking to the guys and making sure that they’re comfortable with everything. Really, I think the most important thing that I have to do right now is make sure the guys are ready to learn the playbook, continue to study and make sure they know everything in terms of X’s and O’s. Another thing really that we’ve established over this last year or so is culture, and I think the rookies are going to come in right away and feel that culture. We’re going to take them in with open arms and teach them all about it.
Rich Cimini, ESPN: I have a follow up question on the Jamal trade. Over the last few months, it became pretty apparent that he didn’t want to be there anymore, requesting a trade and was highly critical of your coach, your owner, your GM. Are you surprised or disappointed that someone you’ve been with for a couple of years would behave in that manner? First of all, I really loved playing with Jamal. Again, I can’t speak for Jamal’s experiences or the comments that he made, but what I can say is that I’m really excited to be part of this organization. I think we’re going in the right direction, and we’ve just got to continue to move forward. Again, like I said, we’ve got to have a great strength and conditioning period these next couple of weeks, moving into walkthroughs, and then having a great training camp.
Charles McDonald, New York Daily News: Were you disappointed at all by the move to not bring Robby (Anderson) back? Also, how do you feel about the current crop of receivers that you’re going to be playing with this year? The last couple of years that I was here, Robby had a huge impact for our offense. Again, I’m not going to spend time here worrying about things that I can’t control. All I know is that Robby had a great impact on our offense, and he produced for us. I’m excited to have the guys that we have now, and guys are going to continue to learn this offense and grow within it, and I’m just going to do my part in making sure that they understand what we have to do as an offense and where we go from here.
Charles McDonald, New York Daily News: How do you feel about your ability now – entering year two with Coach (Adam) Gase – how do you feel about your ability to teach the offense to the new receivers? I’m very confident in that. Spending so much time with Coach Gase, especially before last year just trying to learn this offense as fast as I could, it was definitely a process. I spent hours and hours trying to learn it every single day, and I’m still doing that. I’m still learning the offense, but I’m definitely comfortable teaching some of the young guys and the guys who haven’t been in the system before. And again, I’m just really excited to get that rolling.
Brian Costello, New York Post: Today, you talked about seeing some of the guys as they come in. They’re not allowed in the building, so were you out like in the parking lot greeting them or were you guys in the hotel, where do you see guys? No, guys will just text me, “Hey, what’s up? What are you doing?” And I’ll respond, ‘Hey, have you gotten your test yet? Because I’m not going to see you if you haven’t gotten your test.’ But I’ve been seeing rookies, I’ve been seeing some of the early report injured guys that were hurt last year. So, I’ve been seeing some of those guys and just saying what’s up to them.
Brian Costello, New York Post: I know you don’t want to talk about what Jamal’s experience was, but he criticized Adam Gase’s leadership. What’s your personal experience? How do you feel about Gase as a leader? Yeah, I mean (Coach Gase) is the right leader for this team for sure. I think for me personally, he’s helped me grow a ton as a quarterback in learning this offense. I just think throughout the weeks leading up to games, he does everything that he possibly can to put us in the best position to win on Sundays, and that’s from my experience with Coach Gase. I’ve had nothing but positive experiences with him so far.
Rich Cimini, ESPN: COVID-related question here, Sam. Have you thought much about what it’s going to be like huddling or being in the locker room socially distancing and all the different nuances that we don’t think about that you’re going to be going through in a much different manner than before? Yeah, that’s a great question. I think no one really knows right now what anything is going to look like outside of coming here, reporting, testing. We know the schedule, we just don’t really know exactly what everything’s going to look like. And I think with huddling, if we want to have a season, which we do, and all the fans want a season, you guys want us to have a season, we’re going to have to huddle like we normally do. And again, I think we’ve just got to trust the fact that everyone’s staying safe, we’ll be getting tested every day, and again, we’ve just got to trust each other that no one is going out and seeing people that they shouldn’t see and people that haven’t been tested. So, we’ve just got to trust that. I’m just not sure if anyone really knows what anything is going to look like right now, but I guess we’ll find that out in a few weeks.
Tina Cervasio, FOX 5 New York: What is your reaction to what’s going on with the Marlins in baseball? They have around 17-19 players that are positive and they go home like you guys go home and will be traveling. So what’s your reaction to all that? It’s all happened so fast, so many guys get it, and again, there’s still so much about this virus that we don’t know. For us, we’re just going to continue to try to stay safe. For me, I’m going to stay in my apartment and really just be traveling from there to here inside the building, and that’s going to be it for me. It might be boring, but that’s kind of what I have to do at this point. And for what’s going on in baseball right now. It’s it affects everyone, because you look at the game the Marlins had, and they affect the players on the other team and then the dugouts are then affected. There’s no good way of really going about it, and you’ve got to start canceling games. So, it’s just a matter of what the league wants to do, and if people start contracting the virus within the NFL, it’ll be interesting to see how the NFL wants to handle it.
Manish Mehta, New York Daily News: How do you think not having fans or having a few thousand fans will impact you guys? Some guys obviously feed off the energy. Sometimes I guess it’s better if you’re on the road without the crowd, but just what do you think that landscape is going to look like? And then secondly, you’ve talked about being more consistent and that kind of being the next step. So, what kind of goes into actually being more consistent in your third year? To answer your first question, the fans are what make the game so special, especially the Jets fans at MetLife – they make the atmosphere incredible, every single Sunday, Monday or Thursday, whenever we’re playing, but it’s going to be different definitely without them, and I think it’s just something that everyone’s going to have to adapt to. And then to answer your second question, I’m just trying to work on continuing to learn the playbook and learn the protections, learn the route concepts, where I’m going to go with the ball if one, two and three are covered. There’s just so much more that I understand that I didn’t understand at this point last year, and I think for me it’s just getting a whole year under my belt in the system, and I definitely have a lot more confidence. Kind of going back to a question that was asked earlier about teaching the guys and how much confidence I have teaching them, I have a ton more confidence in myself to be able to go out there and play consistent football which is, like you said, that’s really what the game is about.
Brian Costello, New York Post: When you’re talking about COVID and how you’re going to go from your apartment to practice and back, is there a certain level of kind of policing in the locker room that you guys have to do? You have a lot of guys, young guys in their 20s like to go out normally. Do you guys have to talk about that as players and not leave it on coaches or the organization to say we can’t do this kind of thing? I think that’s where, again because coaches can tell us all day not to go out, but at the end of the day it really comes from the players and the leaders in the locker room. I think it’s just going to be on us to be able to have the patience to – if some friends are in the city and I want to go out to the city, I’m just going to have to say no. It’s just going to be the way of the world. There’s a new norm now. I’ve been going around the building, I haven’t been shaking hands, I’ve been dapping elbows. You go about your life in a completely different way right now and I guess we’re just all going to have to get used to it.
Kim Jones, NFL Network: I love the story, about a year ago or so Joe Douglas told your parents he was going to do everything he could to get you protection and playmakers. I’m wondering, have you and your parents ever visited about that? It’s a really cool thing for a new GM to say that about his young quarterback to the quarterback’s parents. It’s something my mom brings up every now and then, I’m not going to lie. She just talks about how he made that promise. That’s something that a mother never really forgets, when someone promises something to keep their child safe – for lack of a better term. It’s just been awesome to kind of see what Joe D (Douglas) and the whole staff has done to be able to do that. Again, we’re just really looking forward to kind of getting after it this year and yeah it’s been awesome to kind of have those conversations with my parents and how Joe D has kind of held up to his end of the bargain on that one.
Kim Jones, NFL Network: I know in football trust is a big thing. I obviously didn’t play, but I know that part. I’m wondering how does a quarterback learn to trust an offensive line that’s going to have as much of a makeover as yours is in this crazy offseason where there aren’t going to be preseason games for you all to kind of work out any kinks. Like how does that trust come and how important is that trust? It’s huge. For me I think it’s about taking the walk-through reps and turning those reps into great on-the-field reps in practice, in training camp. I think the more reps that we get with protection, with the run game, and the more comfortable offensive line gets and all the new guys get with the system, the more trust everyone’s going to have in each other. And again, like I said, it just comes with reps, and the more the more reps that we can have. If the rules say that we can only have a certain amount of reps on the field, then who knows, we might be having to FaceTime each other in the hotel or something in training camp. When it comes to that, it’s just about getting reps and making sure we’re all on the same page.