From an off-field bout with mononucleosis to on-field struggles with development, Jets quarterback Sam Darnold's second year in New York ultimately impressed general manager Joe Douglas.
"Talk about toughness and talk about adversity," Douglas said. "Not many guys faced more adversity than Sam, as far as dealing with the mono and some rough patches during the year. But I think the respect that Sam has earned from everyone in this building -- and especially in the locker room -- as far as his ability to handle adversity, to come back, to play really good football, to watch him grow throughout the year, to watch him grow from Year 1 to Year 2, just with everything -- the decision-making, the leadership -- it was really impressive to see."
Darnold went 7-6 as a second-year starter, completing 273 of 441 passes (61.9 percent) for 3,024 yards and 19 touchdowns to 13 interceptions in 13 games.
Taken by the Jets with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft behind Saquon Barkley and Baker Mayfield, Darnold flashed, but rookie of the year focused on the Giants running back and Cleveland Browns quarterback.
With another step in the right direction as the Jets ended the 2019 season by winning six of their last eight games, Douglas is a firm believer that Darnold will continue to develop under head coach Adam Gase.
"I really think that Sam and Adam formed a really strong relationship of open and honest conversation," Douglas said. "And I really think you saw that blossom throughout the end of the year."
"Not many guys faced more adversity than Sam" - Joe Douglas on Darnold's season pic.twitter.com/XJqbGLjWTd- Jets Videos (@snyjets) December 31, 2019