We have yet to fully evaluate his on-field performance here, but Carolina Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold is definitely acing the off-field portion of his test. That includes saying all the right things, even when it may be painful to say them.
Darnold has not shied away from answering questions about his disappointing three-year stint with the New York Jets. Wednesday’s media session was no exception, as the 24-year-old shouldered the blame like a grown man would ahead of the Panthers’ Week 1 matchup with his former team.
“I didn’t do my job, to the best of my ability,” Darnold said when asked if he thought he didn’t have enough playmakers and protection in New York. “I think that’s really all there is to it.”
The 2018 third overall pick was, to be blunt, a dud with the Jets. He hadn’t played a full season in any of his three years there, whether that be due to injury or by coach’s decision, totaling 50 touchdowns (45 passing) to 39 interceptions and 20 fumbles. Only once did he pass for 3,000 yards in a single campaign, barley hitting the mark at 3,024 in 2019.
Darnold also noted that despite the sour results, he can’t pinpoint any regrets from his time there.
“I don’t know if I have any regrets. Obviously, things didn’t go our way. Wish we would’ve won more games. I think that’s pretty obvious. But I met a lot of great people in New York, have a lot of great friends there still with the organization. So, yeah, I don’t regret anything.”
The Jets went a combined 13-25 in Darnold’s 38 career starts. To be fair to Darnold, however, he did not have the best of help in terms of pass catchers or offensive linemen.
So was he awesome in New York? No. And did he have an incredible supporting cast? No.
As much as this may pain the single-minded who want to die on a hill, both can be true.
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