With Le'Veon Bell not at the Jets OTAs so far this offseason, Sam Darnold has been left to still imagine what it will be like to have him in his backfield this year.
He loves what he sees.
When the Jets finally struck a deal with the Pro Bowl running back, Darnold was "pumped" to have a new weapon in his arsenal, as he knows the type of damage he can do for the Jets' offense.
"You know obviously we know what Le'Veon is capable of," Darnold said at Thursday OTA in Florham Park. "Once we signed him I was pumped, just super stoked to have him on our team and for me to have him as a weapon. To be able to check the ball down, get him out in space, have him running routes, there's so many things we can do that coach [Adam] Gase has already addressed. So I'm really pumped about it."
As Darnold mentions, Gase is just as excited to use Bell in his offensive scheme. It was reported earlier that Gase wasn't happy with how much money former GM Mike Maccagnan signed Bell for (four years, $52.5 million, $27 million guaranteed), but the new leader of the Jets says Bell has been in "constant communication" with him.
"We signed him. I'm excited we have him," Gase said. "I've been in constant communication with him."
Gase added that any trade rumors surrounding Bell is "ridiculous," and that everyone -- like Darnold -- loves that he'll be wearing the green and white this season.
It will be a new offensive look for the Jets under Gase. Darnold describes the playbook as "aggressive," something he is excited to be in his sophomore season under center.
"It's been really fun to learn a new offense, kinda understand what coach Gase wants to do, how aggressive he wants to be," Darnold said. "But [we've been] really making sure that we take a step back and realize it's not going to be perfect Day 1 or Day 2 or Day 3. This week it was definitely a process -- that's the word I would use to describe it."
The Jets' offense has the chance to surprise many people this season. While most eyes will be on Bell and his production after sitting out a year, there is also the introduction of Jamison Crowder to New York. The speedy slot receiver should be utilized a bunch by Darnold, as well as Quincy Enunwa and Robby Anderson.
No matter who he's throwing it to, Darnold knows he's going to be spraying the pigskin all over the Metlife Stadium turf this season.
"We're not going to be shy," he said. "I'm going to sling it around a little bit. It's going to be fun."