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Sam Darnold gets more work with the ones in practice

Jets QB Sam Darnold sounded a little too confident when he said NFL defenses are easier to read than what he saw in college.

The Jets have already called their starting quarterback job a “tough decision,” but coach Todd Bowles denied that a decision for the week has already been made after rookie quarterback Sam Darnold got more work with the starting offense in practice Sunday.

According to Brian Costello of the New York Post, Darnold got his most extensive work with the starters of the offseason, taking more reps with the ones than either Josh McCown or Teddy Bridgewater. He was also the first quarterback out during what was supposed to be a live scrimmage period, before rain cut the practice short.

But Bowles tried to tamp down the excitement (good luck with that) when asked if it was a sign of who might start this week against Washington.

It’s no indication,” Bowles said. “Just getting him caught up on some things.”

Of course, it didn’t take long for that train to start rolling, after Darnold had a solid debut Friday against the Falcons (in which he was the third quarterback, and played with and against the backups, accordingly).

The No. 3 overall pick said he thought the time with the starters would help his progress toward what seems an inevitable promotion (though he didn’t say that last part).

“I think working with the first team, it just gets me more comfortable with those guys,” Darnold said. “I think they get more comfortable with me and the way I like to play, all that kind of stuff plays into it. I think anytime I get the chance to be able to get those quality reps whether it’s with the ones, the twos or the threes, those are important reps.”

Bowles said there were still plenty of things for Darnold to work on, and cited getting the team in and out of the huddle more quickly. But those are fine points, and the increased workload is going to look like a sign of things to come whether the coach wants to acknowledge it or not. And there’s at least precedent, as the Jets didn’t play McCown at all in the second or third preseason games, giving them a longer look at since-traded-then-released Christian Hackenberg.

Darnold’s on the opposite trajectory, but more snaps against what resembles a starting defense can only help him.