The case for former USC quarterback Sam Darnold starting for the New York Jets on Week 1 of the NFL season just received a momentous boost.
Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Norman, who is known for speaking his mind when talking to the media, is the latest to come out and vouch for the former Trojan.
After three days of facing Darnold, Norman had plenty of positive things to say about the Jets’ young gunslinger.
“He’s like, putting them on the money. But then you go to 7-on-7 and it’s like, ‘OK, pass, catch here. Right there,” Norman said, per the Jets Wire. “But doggit, this little kid is not making mistakes. And he’s like, he’s really accurate.”
Darnold put together a solid Jets debut last Thursday against the Atlanta Falcons. He completed 13 of his 18 pass attempts for 96 yards and one touchdown, which came in a two-minute drill.
Since his early days at USC, Darnold has never shown any signs of having stage freight. Even though he’s competing against professionals now, the story remains the same with the former San Clemente standout.
Veterans in the NFL are infamous for rookie hazing and trying to get in the heads of their younger teammates. Norman figured out pretty quickly that he wasn’t going to faze Mr. Darnold.
“You know, you get rookies in here and you try to mess with them and bait them a little bit and thinking he’s going to throw a route that you know you can make a play on and he’s not having it,” Norman said. “It’s so crazy to see at an early age. Dak (Prescott) had that, Carson (Wentz) has that, so it’s like, man, they must come in here and not want to screw it up.”
Darnold certainly hasn’t shown any signs of screwing up his bid to become the Jets’ starter. Considering that he’s had three days of reps against Norman & Co., Darnold will get another opportunity to build his case for the starting job when the Jets play Redskins on Thursday in their second preseason game.