New Jets coach Robert Saleh praised quarterback Sam Darnold … at one point.
Saleh made very good statements about Darnold during the coach’s introductory press conference on Thursday, but he stopped saying Darnold would be the team’s quarterback in 2021.
“He’s got incredible hand talent,” Saleh said. “There’s a reason he was the No. 3 pick in the draft. He’s fearless in the pocket. He’s a natural throwing speed. He’s mobile. He’s highly intelligent and he’s tough like a nail. His reputation in the locker room is undeniable. Is. Just in general, there is a reason he was the third pick in the draft and you can see all those qualities on tape and around the building the way people speak about him. “
The Jets have a major decision on Darnold. He has had disappointments in his first three seasons, but he is only 23 and many believe he can improve in a better offensive system and with better players around him. Saleh hired Mike Lafalur as his offensive coordinator who implements the Kyle Shanahan offense, which is quarterback friendly.
The Jets have the No. 2-overall pick in the draft and could select the second-best quarterback in the draft. The Jaguars are expected to draft Clemson star Trevor Lawrence with the No. 1-overall pick.
In the past week, there has also been a push from the media and fans to trace a trade for the Jets’ disgruntled Texas quarterback Deshawn Watson. Jets general manager Joe Douglas was asked about Watson, but could not say anything because of the NFL’s tampering rules.
“I cannot discuss a player who is not in our team,” Douglas said. “like [Saleh] Alluded to and I would say now, our next step in the process is to get together as an employee, more than all the people who are on our team, really get their perspective from watching the tape and the people perspective. Let’s include here for the last few years. This is going to be a really fantastic meeting that really sets the foundation for our lineage. “
Douglas said the only conversation with Saleh about the players occurred during the interview process. Saleh has been focused on building his coaching staff. They can now start evaluating not only Darnold, but everyone on the roster.
“There are a lot of things that we have to pursue,” Saleh said, when Saleh asked if Darnold was about to enter the training camp. “We are just bringing the employees into the building. From the evaluation point of view of the entire roster we have a lot of work to do, not just at quarterback. It would not be appropriate to give you this answer right now. There are a lot of discussions that should take place with Joe’s employees and himself. It will be a little premature to give you that answer. “