FLORHAM PARK, N.J. – Practice didn’t start the right way for Sam Darnold and the offense, but things changed quickly.
There was a mistake on the first play in team drills, when Darnold ran the wrong way on a handoff, stopping the play. He didn’t make many more mistakes after that.
“He was mad after the first play,” Adam Gase said Wednesday morning. “I was like, ‘We’re probably going to have a good day.’ He makes one mistake and he locks in pretty good.”
Darnold might have had his best practice of this camp. He completed 12 of 15 passes and threw for two touchdowns. The offense overall had a good day as backup quarterback Trevor Siemian also threw two TD passes.
But Darnold was masterful, aside from the miscue at the start, and an overthrown deep ball to Robby Anderson, who had Darryl Roberts beat by a few steps down the left sideline.
On one play, Darnold was chased from the pocket and rolled right. It appeared he was going to either run out of bounds or throw the ball away, but Anderson took a couple of steps in and Darnold fired it to him on the right sideline.
“That’s a gift on his part,” Anderson said. “He can really throw the ball on the run. Not many guys can do that. Him being able to stay in plays when things might die down, quarterbacks might throw it away, take a sack he’s able to make something special happen as we seen last year.
“We just got to build on that, keep working that scramble drill, a lot of big plays will come from that, a lot of yards after the catch and extended drives are going to come off his athleticism.”
Back in the slot
Slot receiver Jamison Crowder, who left Monday’s practice with a left foot/ankle injury, was back on the field and making plays Wednesday. Cleared after undergoing some tests, Crowder caught the first pass of team drills — from Darnold across the middle — and three others, including a touchdown.
“It was something that needed to get checked out,” he said. “I was good though. I was happy to get back out there today. I feel great.”
Veteran kicker Chandler Catanzaro had another tough day, missing two field goals from roughly 41 and 45 yards out. He missed three straight field goals at one point last week, but Gase doesn’t seem concerned and said there is no plan at this point to bring in another kicker.
“He had a really good spring,” Gase said. “That’s part of training camp. You work through things and sometimes that happens. We got an experienced guy that’s had success.”
Marcus Maye remains on the PUP list after shoulder surgery. Gase said the third-year safety is day-to-day and needs to get his strength before he returns. Maye has been working on his conditioning . . . The defense had a number of penalties and expected to hear it from coordinator Gregg Williams during meetings. Defensive end Henry Anderson was bracing for it. “You never want to be on the board called out,” Anderson said. “I know I’ll be up there for a couple of different things.”