If you missed the comments, Johnson basically specified that the drafting of Sam Darnold will go down in history as a turning point for the franchise. Basically saying that the Jets are about to start winning, and winning a lot.
In the days that followed that comment I saw articles pop up around the comments being ill-conceived and that it put far too much pressure on Sam Darnold, unnecessary pressure at that (see this NBC video as an example). Which make me think about it, and In my opinion, the comments made by Johnson should be seen as belief and support rather than pressure.
Just think about this, the Jets moved up three places in the draft, giving away not one but two second round selections. Sam Darnold is coming into the biggest media market in the world, the expectations of a tortured fan-base are on his shoulders and he’s only just about to turn 21, he’s a first round QB from a big school, and he’s a top 5 pick in the draft, and a QB at that. If there is a pressure monitor on Darnold, it was already overflowing before Christopher Johnson made his way to a microphone.
Believe it or not, there is no magical formula to ensure the success of a high draft pick, especially a QB. You can coddle him if you like, you can show tough love. You can simplify the playbook or you can throw terminology at him that would make a research paper into bio-mechanics look like an easy—ready. You can sit him for 6 games, a year or even two, or you can start him straight away. You can alter your playbook to suit his skills, or try and force him into your tried-and-tested method. There is no right way or wrong way to develop a QB, at least that’s what the stats indicate.
Christopher Johnson didn’t say anything that Sam Darnold didn’t already know. If that comment rattles him, then he’s set-up for failure already. We simply can’t afford to go into this off-season with set decisions and it seems as though the Jets agree. The widely held belief is that if Darnold is the best QB at the end of camp, then he’ll play. If he’s not, he’ll sit until he is. That’s 100% the right way to approach this situation and I love the confidence and belief of the CEO, all being well, this will be the turning point for the Jets franchise, and I can’t wait.