New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan praised rookie quarterback Sam Darnold during a radio interview Monday on WFAN, calling him "unflappable" and saying he's been "exceptionally impressed" with the young signal-caller (h/t Rich Cimini of ESPN.com).
Maccagnan also hinted the team might be willing to move on from Teddy Bridgewater given the presence of Darnold and Josh McCown on the roster.
"There's nothing to stop us from keeping three [quarterbacks], and there's nothing to stop us from keeping two," he said.
Maccagnan isn't the only one to praise Darnold this preseason.
"I couldn't bait him like I wanted to, and he saw it, and he read it out, and he read it out like a vet," Washington cornerback Josh Norman said after the teams met in joint practices, per Bob Glauber of Newsday. "You tip your hat to a guy like that, learning at an early age when guys are messing with him and when they're not. It's pretty awesome."
Head coach Todd Bowles has also been impressed with Darnold early on:
"I knew he was smart. Everybody learns differently. You don't know until you get in and throw the playbook at them and seeing what they can comprehend and what they can't, but he's done a great job with remembering everything and playing with poise and control, so I'm happy with where he is. He understands everything, and he applies it the next time around without making a mistake, so that's a good trait to have."
The Jets certainly don't have to rush Darnold onto the field, with either McCown or Bridgewater (if he isn't traded) available. But it sounds as if the third overall pick from this year's draft is slowly proving to the Jets' key decision-makers that he's ready to lead the offense.
Certainly, he's the future of the position in New York. But with Darnold reportedly taking over more and more of the first-team reps for the Jets, per Matt Stypulkoski of NJ.com, it appears he's slowly becoming the present, too.