It’s time to unleash Sam Darnold

Nothing has been too big to this point for Sam Darnold.

Not missing three days during his contract impasse, not closing the gap on the quarterback competition with Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater, not the New York spotlight for his preseason debut.

I’m betting that giving the kid the start Thursday night against the Redskins at FedEx Field won’t be too big for him either.

START HIM UP, Todd Bowles.

He will be your quarterback sooner rather than later this season. Let’s see if it can be sooner. Opening night in Detroit sooner.

You will start whichever quarterback gives you the best chance to win.

Let’s get additional evidence that it is Sam Darnold.

Throw him to the first-string Redskins wolves under the lights, and let’s see if he cowers or blinks.

Don’t think it’s in his DNA.

Let him get comfortable in the huddle with his first-team offensive line and let his bodyguards get comfortable with him.

Let him develop a chemistry with Robby Anderson and Jermaine Kearse.

The possibilities were there for all to see in his preseason debut against the Falcons … the poise, the arm talent, the pocket presence, the extending plays with his legs, all that.

He loves the challenge, loves the game of football, he wants the job.

Of course there will be growing pains. No one is sending him to Canton just yet.

But doesn’t the sky appear to be the limit for his ceiling?

McCown doesn’t need much preseason action. Everyone knows who he is and what he can do.

There would seem to be no room at the Christopher Johnson Inn for Bridgewater. But Bridgewater needs to play to show that his knee can withstand the rigors and allow GM Mike Maccagnan to let some quarterback-desperate team make him an offer he can’t refuse.

Coach Bowles, if there is anyone on this green-and-white planet who wants his own franchise quarterback, it is you.

You are 20-28 and there are those who are eager to throw you on the hot seat, but if you develop Darnold, barring a Buttfumble of a season, chances are you will return in 2019 with a team ready to win.

The idea is to break the Patriots’ stranglehold on the division and win a championship.

You drafted Sam Darnold to chase that Super Bowl.

The more experience you give him in 2018, the better your team will be in 2019.

Coach Bowles, in your defense, you were set back by the ill-fated Christian Hackenberg pick, you have been forced to make do with journeyman quarterbacks who enjoyed some fleeting success but haven’t made Bill Belichick and Tom Brady sweat.

For Darnold, this is the next step. Let’s see what the kid’s got. Let’s see if he can rally your team behind him and make them believe in him.

It’s Go Time.


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