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Jets OC praises Sam Darnold, says QB could start as a rookie

Jets quarterback Sam Darnold

Rookie No. 3 pick Sam Darnold has turned some heads during his brief time with the New York Jets. Long expected to take a so-called redshirt season as a rookie, it’s now at the point where Darnold could actually see some action during his initial NFL season.

In talking about his young quarterback, Jets offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates didn’t necessarily quiet those rumors. In fact, he went full-bore ahead in noting that the USC product could in fact start as a rookie.

“Are we giving him bits and pieces of the offense or are we throwing everything at him? We’re throwing everything at him,” Bates said, via ESPN’s Rich Cimini. “If he can handle it, if he can prove that he’s the starter, then that will take place when the time comes.”

That’s a glowing review right there. It also spits in the face of other suggestions that Darnold might not jump past his current status as the team’s No. 3 quarterback, behind veterans Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater.

Though, there’s now a growing sense in Jersey that Darnold will in fact compete for the starting job during camp. Bates also made sure to conclude that this a real possibility in comparing hom two those other two more-seasoned quarterbacks.

“If you treat them like a rookie, they’ll become a rookie, so we threw the whole book at him to see what he can handle and what he needs to work on — just like the other two — and he’s done a really good job,” Bates continued. Ever since rookie camp, he hasn’t flinched.”

Darnold did struggle initially during organized team activities, but was almost immediately given some first-team reps. That’s what Bates is talking about in throwing the young quarterback to the wolves.

With an electric arm and upside that those other two quarterbacks could scarcely imaging, anything is possible when it comes to Darnold this summer.