Adam Gase Speaks up for Sam Darnold: 'I Saw a Lot of Good Things in the First Half'

New York Jets head coach Adam Gase defends young quarterback Sam Darnold.
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New York Jets head coach Adam Gase knows his fate as the head coach is most likely dependent on the development of Sam Darnold. Now in his third season, the Jets quarterback has struggled this season and Gase isn’t going to blame the former first round pick for any of it.

“It was collapsing quickly on him, “ Gase told reporters via conference call Monday after watching the film of the Jets 18-10 home loss to the Buffalo Bills the day before. “He was trying to get the ball out. He didn’t have much opportunity. The few times that he did, it was a tight window. We gotta finish a couple of those plays. It was tough. There were a lot of bodies coming at him.”

Darnold was 12-of-23 for 120 yards with an interception in the loss on Sunday to the Bills.

Gase said that he had a private conversation with Darnold after the game and it appeared to be a pep talk of sorts.

“It was just a conversation that we had about the game, “ Darnold told reporters Monday. “For me, I’m always optimistic about different situations whether they are good or bad. Obviously, we are not where we want to be right now. We’re 0-7. It’s not ideal.”

The Jets are in line to have the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2021 with their 0-7 record. Clearly, with nine games remaining, that is not a sure bet but fans are always looking past Darnold.

Clemson star Trevor Lawrence has sparked that #tankfortrevor hashtag on social media. Lawrence becoming a Jet would mean Darnold will not be the quarterback in New York any more.

Darnold started Sunday after missing the last two games with a shoulder injury.

The second half was especially horrid. Darnold completed just one of eight passes as the whole offense only managed four positive yards. Still, Gase wouldn’t criticize his third-year quarterback.

“It depends on what you’re looking at,” Gase said. “You look statistically, we’re not good anywhere. I see in practice a lot of things that were better than last year. We just gotta figure a way to protect him and let him get in a rhythm. I saw a lot of good things in the first half (vs. Buffalo). Then it got really muddy there in the second half.”