Brian Billick On WFAN: Sam Darnold Needs To Show Consistency, But It Will Be Challenging


Sam Darnold's sophomore campaign has been rough.

The Jets are at the bottom of the AFC East at 1-7. They've lost three straight games since pulling off the shocking defeat against the Dallas Cowboys on Oct. 13, and Darnold had been occupied with a handful of injuries throughout the season.  

Darnold hasn't been a bright spot on the Jets' offense. He's struggled with turnovers, throwing nine interceptions with three fumbles through five games. After he finished second among rookies with 17 touchdowns, Darnold has only thrown six TDs in 2019.

Former Ravens head coach and NFL analyst Brian Billick says it's still possible for Darnold to fix his inconsistencies, but it will be a challenge for the Jets quarterback. 

"We've talked about this many times," Billick told WFAN's Mike Francesa. "One of the hardest things to do is to seperate the play of the quarterback from what's going on around him. Is this Sam Darnold? Is this just like the Mitchell Trubisky — Is this systematic of what we're going to see or is it they're just not a very good football team. 

"That compounds the problem. That whole draft that came out that year, I think we're seeing they are who we thought they were. In Sam Darnold, there were some questions coming out. Yes he has some definite talent, but he was surrounded by a very good team. There were some inconsistencies about his play and we're kind of seeing the same things. It's going to be a challenge to show a little bit more consistency in what he's able to do. But he's having to do it with a really bad football team. 

Billick also analyzed how Giants' quarterback Daniel Jones would be able to overcome his turnover tendencies, as well. 

Jones' eight interceptions lead all rookies, doubling the amount thrown by first overall pick Kyler Murray. He's been able to make up for his mistakes by his 11 touchdowns since being named the Giants' starter, Jones has fumbled the ball 10 times through his first eight games. 

The ball control is a simple fix, according to Biliick, who coached the likes of Trent Dilfer in Baltimore. 

"A lot of it is stressing the fundamentals in the pocket," Billick said. "The way you carry the ball, the way you protect the ball. Also, in the offseason just get stronger. That's going to be a natural picture of time as well. But of all the things that you've got to correct with the quarterback, that is probably one the most fixable in terms of fundamental things that you do. 

"You don't want it to become a self-fulfilling prophecy that all you're talking about is the fumble. Then that's what he's going to do. Fumble, but you can't ignore it either."

Click the audio player above to listen to Billick's interview in its entirety.