How draft’s top quarterbacks feel about playing for the Jets
ARLINGTON, Texas — One by one, Josh Allen, Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen echoed one another. They’d be happy to play anywhere, in any city, for any team.
The three elite quarterback prospects also didn’t blink when asked about the pressure that would come with going to the quarterback-hungry Jets and everything that would entail: the pressure of the New York media market, playing for the rabid fan base for a franchise that hasn’t reached the Super Bowl since 1969, and being asked to be the team’s first true franchise quarterback since Joe Namath.
“If you win in New York, you’re going to be loved in New York for a long time, and that goes back to the Joe Namath thing,” Allen, the strong-armed quarterback from Wyoming, said at a youth event outside AT&T Stadium on the eve of the draft. “Being in that situation would be really cool. … I would love the idea of it.”
Allen, Darnold, and Rosen, along with Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield, could wind up in New York, either with the Jets, who pick third, or the Giants, who pick second. Big Blue, however, could take running back Saquon Barkley and try to win one more Super Bowl with Eli Manning.
“I know if I get drafted by a team like [the Jets], the fans and media will paint me out to be the guy,” Darnold said. “But I’m going to go in the locker room and be myself. I think that’s the biggest thing; whatever the team wants me to do, I’m going to do. That’s the bottom line with me.
“New York, with the media that’s there, the fan base that is in New York, it would be truly amazing to be able to play in a place like that.”
The three quarterbacks visited both teams and raved about the trips. Darnold said the two locals were the only visits he took in which he got to meet players. With the Jets, he is very familiar with former USC star Leonard Williams. He also got a chance to meet veteran quarterback Josh McCown when he was in Florham Park.
“That was the coolest thing for me on the visits was being able to see the players, how they interact, and leaving knowing I’m going to fit right in,” Darnold said.
Darnold has trained with former Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez, who has advised him about what his future will be like.
“Be yourself, just know you’re the face of the franchise,” Darnold said Sanchez told him.
Rosen would be able to team with former UCLA running back Paul Perkins and offensive lineman Damien Mama, his high school teammate, with the Giants, and also knows the Jets’ Williams well.
Allen developed an immediate bond with new offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates, describing him as a “great dude” he hit it off with immediately, and said new Giants coach Pat Shurmur and offensive coordinator Mike Shula are “fantastic people” who have “a firm grasp of what’s going on.”
“I think both of those teams are pieces away from being playoff contenders and Super Bowl contenders, as well,” Allen said.
Rosen was more standoffish about the proposition of playing in New York, making it clear he just wants a chance to prove he can be an NFL quarterback and continue his career. When asked about the media scrutiny of New York, Rosen snapped: “You’re trying to catch me. Next question.”
But when asked about what it would be like to be considered the quarterback savior for a franchise like the Jets that has waited so long for one, he smiled.
“Cool,” the former UCLA star said.
Source: Read Full Article