FLORHAM PARK, N.J. – Sam Darnold received the bulk of the reps Tuesday for the second straight practice, as the Jets continued to try to get the rookie quarterback as much experience as possible.
That's expected to continue Friday night when the Jets open the preseason against the Falcons. Todd Bowles said he would decide after the four exhibition games who would be the Week 1 starter.
It’s an open competition among Josh McCown, Teddy Bridgewater and Darnold. But Darnold is going to get the chance to prove himself in practice and in the preseason.
On Tuesday he took 45 snaps – as many as Bridgewater (30) and McCown (15) combined. But the No. 3 pick out of USC had an inconsistent showing. Darnold performed well in red-zone drills, but he wasn’t sharp when trying to drive the offense down the field.
Darnold threw for five touchdowns, four in the red zone. But he also threw two interceptions and had a few more throws that were nearly picked off.
Safety J.J. Wilcox intercepted Darnold both times and returned one for a touchdown. On his two picks, Darnold overthrew Tre McBride and underthrew Robby Anderson on deep balls.
Bridgewater, who had been playing well, also threw two interceptions.
Anderson and Terrelle Pryor made spectacular, one-handed touchdown grabs in red-zone offense, prompting some humor from Bowles.
“Robby, it’s the first time I seen him catch with one hand,” Bowles said. “Pryor, I think he duplicated me because it’s the catch I made in fourth grade. But it was a heck of a catch.”
The Jets met with NFL referees Tuesday night and saw a presentation on the new rules. Among them, a player will be subject to penalty, ejection, fine and/or suspension for lowering his head and initiating contact with his helmet.
The new catch rule no longer requires maintaining control of the ball throughout the process of going to the ground. That means the touchdown taken away from former Jets tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins last year against the Patriots would be a touchdown this year.
Safety Jamal Adams joked, "It's too late."