New York

Jets Rookie QB Sam Darnold Makes His NFL Debut

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – New York Jets fans got their first glimpse of rookie quarterback Sam Darnold in action during Friday nights preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons.

Any quarterback taken third overall in the draft is going to bring high hopes. So far in training camp, Darnold has exceeded those expectations, CBS2s Steve Overmyer reports.

On Friday night, he stepped off the practice field and into an NFL game for the first time.

“Its also about being able to get rid of the ball in a timely manner, like we just talked about, and being able to process that information, because were live,” he said before the game. “This will be the first time that were able to get hit.”

In camp, quarterbacks wear a red jersey, meaning no players can touch them. But the biggest part of a QBs growth happens in the games.

“Its fun to be able to have control of the offense. Obviously, Im not exactly where I wanna be. Theres always growth that needs to happen. But Im really excited about where Im at,” said Darnold.

The coaching staff has put an emphasis on experience. So the rookie will get more playing time than expected. While hes still third on the depth chart, hell be given every opportunity to prove himself as a starter.

But lets remember, hes a 21-year-old kid.

“Ive never actually been able to say that I play football as my job, but now I can actually say that. It doesnt really feel like that. It feels like Im just playing football having a good time,” he said.

CBS2 asked 16-year veteran quarterback Josh McCown if he had any advice for Darnold in his first preseason game.

“Overall for every rookie, just enjoy the first moment you put the uniform on and go out there under the lights. Even (though) its preseason, its really cool,” he replied. “Realizing the dream that all of us have had. So thats the main thing, just soak it up and enjoy it.”

McCowen, whos expected to be the starting quarterback this season, has a daughter the same age as the man whos trying to take his job.

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