Sam Darnold showed real potential in his freshman year. The 22-year-old has his whole life ahead of him and if he takes noticeable steps forward this season, he’ll be on the track to becoming a top-10, if not better, quarterback in the league.
And yet, you don’t hear an incredible amount about him. Consider the coverage of Darnold compared to Daniel Jones, which is easily explainable but interesting nonetheless. Darnold has now played in the country’s two biggest cities at the sexiest position in sports and has yet to crack that permeable shell that separates the superstars from the rest of us plebes.
Bill Parcells sees this and appreciates it. From the New York Post:
“I know Sam a little bit,” Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells said recently. “I like him. I think he’s a tough guy. You know what I like about him? He’s not ready to be a star. He just wants to play.”
This was meant as a compliment. It means Darnold is all about football and less about the trappings.
“That’s very important,” Parcells said. “Half of them come into the league and they’re ready to be a star but they’re not ready to pay the price to be a quarterback.”
The Jets have had some trouble at quarterback over the last, well, several decades really. Some of that trouble has been exacerbated by big personalities. But it does bear mentioning that the only time this franchise won the Super Bowl, they had a signal-caller who was the Platonic Ideal of a Swinging Bachelor, wearing fur and sex-ing up everything with legs.