Jeremy Bates already knew Sam Darnold was pretty special from working with the No. 3 overall draft pick in the offseason.
Still George Kittle Jersey , the New York Jets offensive coordinator wasn't quite sure what to expect from the young quarterback on his first day of training camp.
After all, Darnold was three days late because of a contract holdout and Bates figured he would have some catching up to do.
"When he came out on the field, he didn't even have meetings, and he just went in there and started calling plays and running plays," Bates recalled Monday.
"A lot of young quarterbacks, it takes a while to learn the plays and spit it out in the huddle. That, a lot of times, takes a whole year for some guys.
"He just came out, no meeting time, and he hit the field running."
And, Darnold hasn't stopped.
The 21-year-old rookie has been impressive this summer in a three-man competition with Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater. It also appears he's well on his way to being the Jets' starter when New York opens the regular season at Detroit on Sept. 10.
"I think he's progressing extremely fast for a young quarterback to come in here," Bates said.
While coach Todd Bowles has not announced who will start under center in the team's third preseason game Friday night against the Giants, it would be shocking if it's not Darnold.
He has taken the bulk of the snaps in camp since signing his four-year Derek Watt Jersey , $30.25 million deal on July 30, and Darnold is working more frequently with the starting unit lately. He was the third quarterback in the preseason opener against Atlanta and was terrific, and got the start at Washington last week in an up-and-down performance.
And, it's not only the work he's doing on the field that has Bates excited.
"He's able to take the classroom knowledge and take it right to the field and execute it," Bates said. "We're throwing a lot of football at him and he's able to handle it. Man, he's owned the playbook. That's probably the most impressive thing."
That's high praise from a coach who has worked his way up in the NFL by working primarily with quarterbacks over the past 15-plus years.
Bates scouted Darnold in the pre-draft process and liked what everyone else did about him leading up to April. There was lots of tape and game film to watch from Darnold's days at USC, and the Jets' offensive coordinator sees some of the attributes that made the youngster so coveted in college on the field in practice and the preseason games.
"When things break down, which they do probably 70 percent of the game, he's able to keep his head downfield," Bates said. "He's able to scramble and find the (passing) lanes and he finds an open receiver. Just being able to make plays off schedule is very powerful. He did it in college and he's still doing it today."
There have been things Darnold has shown during the past few months, however, that he couldn't have predicted.
"How easy is the game is for him, both mentally and physically Tyrell Williams Jersey ," Bates said. "We haven't scaled back offensively. We were giving Sam the same amount of information and the same plays that we were giving Josh and Teddy."
Darnold has been far from perfect, of course, but his first impression has been overwhelmingly positive.
The fact he brushes off his miscues like a seasoned veteran and rarely makes the same mistake has also endeared him to Bates and the rest of the Jets' coaches.
"He moves to the next play, for a young kid, unbelievably," Bates said. "He doesn't dwell on it. Nothing is too big for him. He's everything you're looking for in a young quarterback as far as the ability to go out there and the stage isn't too big for him. When the lights come on, he gets better."
NOTES: During a radio interview on WFAN's "Boomer & Gio Show," general manager Mike Maccagnan wouldn't rule out trading either Bridgewater or McCown this summer. "There's nothing to stop us from keeping three," he said. "There's nothing to stop us from keeping two." With Darnold edging closer to winning the starting job 鈥?Maccagnan called him "really sort of unflappable" 鈥?it's believed Bridgewater would garner the most interest from teams looking for an experienced backup or potential starter. ... Starting RG Brian Winters and LT Kelvin Beachum returned to team drills after dealing with injuries the past few days. Beachum hadn't participated in 11-on-11 drills in more than two weeks since hurting his right ankle. He was still spelled at times by Brent Qvale. ... RB Isaiah Crowell (concussion) and CB Trumaine Johnson (hamstring) fully practiced.
Terrell Owens has decided to celebrate his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame at Chattanooga, where he played college football.The former NFL All-Pro receiver, who has said he was not attending the induction ceremony in Canton, Ohio, released a statement on Tuesday saying he would give his acceptance speech at his alma mater.“I have decided to give my Hall of Fame speech at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in McKenzie Arena on Saturday Marcus Sherels Jersey , August 4,” Owens posted on . “The event, which is free and open to the public, starts at 3:17 p.m.”Owens added that he is “proud to be a Moc, and I’m honored to be able to share this experience with my family, friends, teammates and fans at the place that provided me an opportunity beyond high school and where I truly began to find myself as an athlete.”The 44-year-old Owens said he is looking forward to the event, and “Getcha popcorn ready.”Owens was a three-sport athlete at Chattanooga, where he played football from 1992-95. He also played basketball and ran track for the Mocs. Owens said he “realized just how much I want to celebrate what will inevitably be the best weekend of my life at a place that means so much to me.”He was voted into the hall in February after being denied in his first two years of eligibility. His announcement last month that he was skipping the Aug. 4 induction ceremony at the Pro Football Hall of Fame is unprecedented by an enshrinee.In a statement released last month by his publicist, Owens said: “While I am incredibly appreciative of this opportunity, I have made the decision to publicly decline my invitation to attend the induction ceremony in Canton.“After visiting Canton earlier this year, I came to the realization that I wish to celebrate what will be one of the most memorable days of my life, elsewhere Takkarist McKinley Jersey ,” Owens added. “At a later date, I will announce where and when I will celebrate my induction.”Chattanooga athletic director Mark Wharton said Tuesday that Owens first spoke with school officials “several months ago” about the possibility of having some type of event in Chattanooga. At the time, Owens hadn’t yet indicated he was skipping the Canton induction ceremony.Wharton said Owens spoke with them again “two to three weeks ago” about the possibility of giving his induction speech on campus and that officials were “ecstatic” about the idea.“Obviously we supported him going to Canton,” Wharton said. “At the time, there hadn’t been any living Hall of Fame members who did not go to Canton, so our assumption was that he was (going to Canton). But in multiple conversations with him and his team, he felt most comfortable doing it in a place that molded him into the player and person he is today.”Wharton said the specifics of the Aug. 4 ceremony haven’t been finalized, but he expects a weekend full of events around town honoring Owens.Owens entered the league as a third-round pick by San Francisco in 1996 and developed into a star known for some memorable playoff appearances, including his winning 25-yard TD catch to beat Green Bay in 1999; his 177 yards in a comeback win against the Giants in 2003; and his nine catches for 122 yards in the 2004 Super Bowl against New England just seven weeks after breaking his leg.He ranks second to Jerry Rice with 15,934 yards receiving and is third on the all-time touchdowns receiving list with 153.Owens heavily criticized the voting process when he failed to be elected in 2016 and 2017. Among the reasons he fell short were his being considered a divisive teammate and negative presence in the locker room.AP Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner contributed to this report. Adidas Matt Murray Jersey
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