Jets quarterback Sam Darnold 'not losing confidence' despite Year 3 struggles

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Garrett Stepien
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Sam Darnold drops back to pass during Jets game against Dolphins
Sam Darnold drops back to pass during Jets game against Dolphins

The Jets are winless in 2020, welcoming third-year quarterback Sam Darnold back from a shoulder injury Sunday but falling to 0-7 as Gang Green's starter with a 20-3 loss against the Miami Dolphins. After a 24-hour window to process the latest outing, Darnold shot down the idea that he has lost his confidence in an interview Monday with 98.7 FM ESPN New York's The Michael Kay Show.

"No, I'm not losing confidence," Darnold said. "I've always had confidence in myself and my abilities. It's just about going there, executing the game plan and not trying to do anything outside of myself -- not trying to win the game on one throw or one possession. It's about just taking it one play at a time.

"And looking at the game, I feel like I did that. Obviously, on those two interceptions, maybe I was trying to make more happen than was actually there. But at the same time, I'm going to try to continue to make plays for this team and do what I can to put us in a position to score touchdowns and ultimately win football games."

Darnold completed 16 of 27 passes (59.3 percent) for 197 yards and two interceptions. On the season, Darnold throws to a 58.7-percent completion rate (128 for 218) with 1,242 yards and three touchdowns to eight interceptions.

As a second-year pro during the 2019 season, the Jets' first with offensive-minded head coach Adam Gase, Darnold went 7-6 as a 13-game starter, completing 273 of 441 passes (61.9 percent) for 3,024 yards and 19 touchdowns to 13 interceptions.

Darnold appeared to build off his rookie season in 2018, under former offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates, when he went 4-9 while completing 239 of 414 passes (57.7 percent) for 2,865 yards and 17 touchdowns to 15 interceptions through 13 games. Asked if Gase is the problem, Darnold's answer was a definitive one.

"No, he's definitely not the issue," Darnold said. "I think there's definitely ways that we can help him out as players and we've just got to be better that way. I think everyone can look at the tape and look themselves in the mirror and understand how they can get better.

"And we've just got to continue to understand how each and every person can get better. And everyone's got to look themselves in the mirror and ask themselves that question, 'How can I get better?' And that's the only way you improve."