Maybe Sam Darnold will have a Vulcan mind-meld with Jeremy Bates one day, but it’s no secret that the hot-shot Jets rookie quarterback and his sensei need to speak the same language for this star-crossed franchise to continue down the right path.
Darnold and the Jets offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach can’t spend enough time with each other this summer. If I were Bates, I’d let the kid sleep in my garage to maximize their hours together. (Side note: Those arrangements might not sit well with the Players Association.)
Regardless, Bates will have the Herculean responsibility of molding the (fingers crossed) franchise quarterback this year.
“That’s a huge step in the process in terms of him knowing exactly what’s going through my mind and being able to communicate that with each other,” Darnold said of cultivating a relationship with Bates. “It’s just about communication. If we can communicate, anything is really possible in terms of being able to win games.”
Jeremy Bates’ most important job in 2018 will be to develop Sam Darnold.
Bates has spent the better part of his professional life around quarterbacks. He turned Jay Cutler into a Pro Bowler in his lone season calling plays for the Broncos in 2007. He helped Josh McCown produce a career year in his 15th season. He understands quarterbacks, which is sort of a big deal given all the Jets have at stake with Darnold.
“It’s awesome that he is able to sit with us and that he’s had experience with quarterbacks,” Darnold said. “We’re able to go through the playbook and (he) understand what we’re thinking. He’s able to understand when I am looking at the defense. Even just on tape, if he sees my helmet looking one way or the other, he understands what I am thinking, just because he’s coached quarterbacks for so long and because he was one. It all goes hand in hand.”
Bates is pulling double duty after the Jets ultimately opted not to hire a quarterbacks coach after his promotion. Assistant quarterbacks coach Mick Lombardi and McCown will be important pieces to Darnold’s growth, but Bates will be paramount.
Sam Darnold needs to communicate with Jeremy Bates as he aims to become the Jets’ franchise QB. (Julio Cortez/AP)
My understanding is that the Jets wanted to hire former Lions quarterbacks coach Brian Callahan this offseason before Jon Gruden scooped him up to mentor Derek Carr in Oakland. Todd Bowles admitted that he “went round-and-round” before he ultimately “felt best that Jeremy could handle both” roles as play-caller and position coach.
“It’s always easy to hear it from one voice,” Bowles said. “You can have better continuity with one voice. … But whether it’s a quarterback coach or not a quarterback coach and (whether or not it) comes from one guy, you still want to hear it from an offensive coordinator. So they need to be on the same page no matter what. Mick Lombardi has a lot of say and he’s going to hear it from Mick as well.”
Bates has been a ball of energy during the early stages of off-season workouts. His ability to help Darnold transition to the next level will be the single most important part of the 2018 Jets season.
Source: Ny Daily News