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In My Own Words: Sam Darnold's Start to His Jets Career

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You may not always see it, but I hate losing more than I like winning.

Deep down, winning is everything to me. I’m not going to show too much emotion, but that’s the way my competitive nature is. It’s that fiery passion I have for the game or my competitiveness in general. Whether it’s a board game or a football game on a Sunday, it’s the same for me.

With that being said, these last four weeks have been challenging. I thought I’ve played okay, but there’s definitely room to grow. I understand it’s a long process. I’m going to continue to grow and develop as a quarterback thanks to the help of many people, including my coach/brother/uncle and everything in between — Josh McCown.

There’s not a whole lot I can put into words and say what I want to say about Josh. He’s someone I look up to as a person. When we watch film, he can be like a brother and a coach at the same time. He’s a hard-nosed dude who will tell me when I’m wrong right away, but then also say, “Hey, buddy, that’s okay, we’ll get back after it tomorrow.” He’s going to get on me when I make a mistake because he knows that’s the best way I learn.

I know Frank Sinatra once said if you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere, and to have Joe Namath, someone who very much so made it here, recognize some talent in me, it really means a great deal to me. That’s really special and something I’m going to hold with me for a long time.

Growing up, I knew I wanted to be a professional athlete, but I wasn’t sure what sport I wanted to play. Whatever season it was, football, basketball or baseball, that’s where my attention drifted. I grew up watching USC legends like Reggie Bush, Matt Leinart, Carson Palmer, Matt Barkley. You watch quarterbacks slinging it around and winning Super Bowls and MVPs and all that stuff, and to be here is a dream come true.

I thought I handled everything in LA pretty well during my time at ‘SC and I’m just going to continue to be myself here. I think the rest will take care of itself.

Unfortunately, I do believe my signature moment so far was actually the first play of my career. You know, the one that went the other way for six. Funny enough, I actually thought we had a big play until just after I threw it. It sucked. It was a "wow, okay, that just happened" moment.

But the way we bounced back as a team and fought was really special to me and showed our resiliency. We have to continue to find that juice throughout the season even though it can be long and grueling. We’re going to make adjustments when they need to be made and I’m very confident in our team. We’re headed in the right direction.

Now, it’s time to execute and win some games. I can’t wait to play in front of the home crowd for three straight games. Jets fans are amazing.

Our fans deserve it. They deserve wins.

sam signature

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