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Josh Norman on Sam Darnold: It’s so crazy to see what he’s doing at an early age

Sam Darnold

New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) warms up during the New York Jets Washington Redskins NFL football training camp in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)


Sam Darnold already has impressed his teammates and his coaches. Now, it’s opponents who are saying good things about the Jets rookie quarterback.

Pro Bowl cornerback Josh Norman raved about Darnold after joint practices between Washington and the Jets.

“How do I want to word this?” Norman said, via video posted by Kimberly Martin of the Washington Post. “Someone asked me about him the other day and I was like, ‘Yeah, whatever; he’s just a guy.’ Then you go out here and see him making these throws and you’re like, all right. That’s not so much a college-level throw. He’s putting them on the money.

“It’s like, dang. You get rookies in here and you try to mess them with a little bit and bait them a little bit into thinking they’re throwing a route, and you can make a play, and he’s not having it. It’s so crazy to see that at an early age. Dak [Prescott] has that; Carson [Wentz] has that. So it’s like, man, they must come in here not wanting to screw it up, and he’s so far impressed me, and I didn’t want him to. I wanted to break all rookies. He’s been doing a great job.”

The Jets listed Darnold third on their depth chart last week before their preseason game against the Falcons. After Darnold went 13-of-18 for 96 yards and a touchdown, the Jets rewarded him with first-team reps. There is optimism in New York that the Jets have their starter not only of the future but of the present.

Norman sees why.

“I gave him some cheese,” Norman said. “He held it, and he was going to throw it, and he pulled it back, and I jumped back real fast and I was like, ‘You little devil. OK, I see you working really good right now.’ I couldn’t bait him like I wanted to and he saw it, and he read it out, and he read it out like a vet. You tip your hat to a guy like that, learning at an early age when guys are messing with him and when they’re not. It’s pretty awesome.”