Sam Darnold already is used to hearing Adam Gase’s voice through a speaker in his helmet, but there will be a subtle change in Thursday’s preseason opener.
Gase, in his first season as Jets coach, has been communicating with Darnold via walkie talkie throughout OTAs, minicamp and training camp. But Gase will switch to the more conventional headset when the Jets face the Giants at MetLife Stadium.
Of course, Gase expects it to be a smooth transition and gave some insight into what he would tell Darnold beyond which play to run.
“Just reminders,” Gase said. “I might be saying, 'Hey, get to this play if they do this. If the safety is down, go to this run.' I could be telling him, 'Hey, if the linebacker walks out here, remember it can be two-man, it can be man, it can be pressure.' Whatever it is, it's little tiny things to try to just get him to go, "OK, hey, I'll take a peek out here. OK, I know what this is.’”
It's unclear how much Darnold will play, but this is just the beginning for the quarterback and the coach and their in-game relationship. Gase has said he will give Darnold the freedom to change things if he sees something.
“You just try not to give him too much,” Gase said. “At the same time, you want to try to give him a little nugget every once in a while, just to make sure that he understands why you're calling certain things.”
The players have said they’re excited about facing a different opponent. Gase said he’s looking forward to it too.
“It'll be fun to watch our guys be able to go fully at somebody else,” Gase said. “You want to go against somebody else, different defense, different looks, different bodies. I think it's fun for us as coaches to watch, especially when you have guys in their first couple of games, and they get a ton of playing time, and just seeing how they develop, seeing who reacts well under the lights.”