Roughly 18 hours after the Jets (2-14) completed their season in Foxborough, QB Sam Darnold said that he is itching to get back in the lab to help change the team's fortunes in 2021.
"I want to turn this thing around and I believe that we can," he said on Monday. "There's going to be a lot of work involved in that and we all know it's a process. We have great people in the organization, in the locker room. It's a work in progress and I definitely want to stay here hopefully for the rest of my career."
He added: "It's just about having a worker's mentality. Just put your head down and go to work every day. Obviously, it sucks. No one likes losing and quite frankly, I'm tired of it. I think for us it really is about putting your head down and going to work every day. That's really all we can do. It's about putting it together for all four quarters in a football game and we haven't done that enough. If we do that, we can be a really good football team, a winning football team."
Darnold, who was selected No. 3 overall in 2018, started 12 games and threw for 2,208 yards, 9 TDs and 11 INTs while completing 59.6% of his passes in his third season. He's passed for 8,097 yards, 45 TDs and 39 INTs in 38 career games, 25 of which came under Adam Gase. Gase was relieved of his head coaching duties Sunday night following the Jets' 28-14 loss to the Patriots at Gillette Stadium.
"Personally, I didn't play consistent enough," Darnold said. "That's one thing I can pin it on. I think that's the one thing that I'm going to stick to because it's true. I didn't play well enough, consistent enough. I had flashes, stretches where I was playing well. Last year we had that 6-2 stretch where I played well and a couple games this year, but just haven't been able to put it together for a whole season. I know I will in the future, but I think that's where I didn't do well enough for Adam."
Darnold, who missed four games this season with a shoulder injury, said the first step of his offseason will be letting his shoulder heal. He won't need surgery and didn't use the injury as an excuse for his inconsistent play. He will again map out an offseason program with QBs coach Jordan Palmer, whom he's worked with since before he was drafted, to improve all aspects of his game.
Darnold said he was going to speak with General Manager Joe Douglas about his future with the team and added that the two have a great relationship. The Green & White have the No. 2 overall pick in April's draft. The team has two selections in the first round and five picks in Rounds 1-3.
"I think for me, it's controlling what I can and making sure I have a good offseason of rehab and making sure I'm doing all the right things training that I need to do," Darnold said.
In the meantime, Darnold has confidence that CEO Christopher Johnson and Douglas, who will both address the media later this week, to hire the 20th head coach of the Jets.
"Joe D. is about all the right things," he said. "He's about character and he's about winning. That's what it takes. I know he's going to find the right way."