Todd Bowles chuckled for a moment and then just couldn’t resist

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    FLORHAM PARK Chris Lindstrom Jersey , N.J. (AP)the urge to break from his normally low-key, stoic public persona.The New York Jets coach had just been asked what his initial impressions were of first-round pick Sam Darnold at rookie minicamp Friday – and Bowles went wild. Well, sort of.”He was great! I want him to play right now!” a smiling Bowles shouted while slamming his left hand on the lectern for emphasis .It was stunning. And made a room filled with wide-eyed reporters laugh.Bowles has never been one to make bold declarations, especially after just one practice. So the coach jokingly mocked the question – while providing a video and sound clip like he never has before.Then again, Bowles and the Jets are hoping Darnold someday develops into the type of quarterback the likes of which this franchise has rarely, if ever, seen.”He was good,” Bowles said, still smiling. ”Obviously, we threw the ball around a little bit and he’s going to be getting better.”Darnold was the No. 3 overall pick in the draft last week , surprisingly ”dropping” into the Jets’ lap after being rumored as a potential top overall selection for several months. Instead, Cleveland went with Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield and the Giants took Penn State running back Saquon Barkley at No. 2.That meant the team that has been craving a franchise quarterback since the glory days of Joe Namath had its guy: the 20-year-old Darnold, a could-be savior from USC who could soon be shouldering the pressure of leading the Jets out of a seven-year playoff drought.The kid who oozes California cool knows all about it.”Yeah, I embrace it, but I understand every single day that it’s a process,” Darnold said before his first practice of rookie camp. ”You’ve got to come in here and earn respect. I’m not going to come in here and demand it.”Darnold is fresh-faced , has a terrific head of reddish-blond hair, and should make for a target of companies looking for celebrity endorsers or magazines searching for a cover-boy athlete. Make no mistake, though, he’s got an unrelenting competitive streak and lives and breathes football.Just moments after meeting with an overflow crowd of media armed with cameras and lots of questions, Darnold was back at his makeshift stall in the middle of the Jets’ locker room, studying his playbook.”Just coming in here and understanding the position that I’m in – I’m a rookie,” Darnold said. ”I understand that. But at the same time, I understand that I’m a quarterback and that I’ve got to be a leader on the field and off it, as well.”Darnold will have a chance to win the starting job this summer. His main competition, of course, will be Josh McCown, the soon-to-be 39-year-old veteran who was the starter for most of last season.The Jets also have Teddy Bridgewater, still working his way back from a serious knee injury nearly two years ago, and Christian Hackenberg, a second-rounder in 2016 who has yet to see the field in a regular-season game.”We’re giving him every chance,” Bowles said of Darnold. ”He’s going to learn it as he goes. He might get the (first-team) reps as he goes Kendall Sheffield Jersey , but we’ll make that determination through preseason and see where we are at the end of it. But we’re not holding him back.”We’re not rushing him, at the same time, but we’re not holding him back at all.”Darnold was given a small chunk of the playbook to run through during rookie camp, with the team keeping things relatively simple to start.There were some ups – a few beautifully placed long throws – and some downs – two botched snaps and an interception on a tipped pass – while getting in his first on-field practice since late December.”It’s a combination of being nervous,” Darnold said, ”but at the same time, I think it’s more relief than anything just because I haven’t been with a team, I haven’t been inside the pocket for a long time.”While Bowles’ response to what he saw from Darnold was intentionally over the top, there’s no doubt many Jets fans hope the rookie is under center in Week 1 – and for years to come.Until then, though, Darnold is going about his business the only way he knows how.”Consistency, I think is the biggest thing,” Darnold said. ”I’m just going to come in here and be consistent every single day. Do what I need to do: lift, eat right, get with coach (Jeremy) Bates, get with Josh and Teddy , learn everything that is installed that day. Just go about it, it’s a daily process that I go through. If I treat every single day like it’s the most important day, I think that’s really where my success comes from.”NOTES: The Jets waived RB Akeem Judd. … The team announced it signed RB Trenton Cannon, a sixth-round draft pick out of Virginia State. … New York signed seven undrafted free agents: Oklahoma FB Dimitri Flowers, Auburn OL Austin Golson, Jacksonville State CB Reggie Hall, Columbia DL Lord Hyeamang, Auburn OL Darius James, University of British Columbia G Dakoda Shepley, and Texas Tech DL Mychealon Thomas.— SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — The schedule makers dealt Mike McGlinchey a rude welcome to the NFL.The rookie right tackle for the San Francisco 49ers had three of his first four games on the road, including matchups against elite pass rushers like Minnesota’s Danielle Hunter, Kansas City’s Justin Houston and Melvin Ingram of the Chargers.Looking back at that experience now, McGlinchey acknowledges it was almost crippling.“You could almost feel as soon as a pass play was called, ‘Now I have to worry about getting off the snap on time. I have to worry about what he’s going to do,'” McGlinchey recalled this week. “You could feel the stuff behind your eyes putting pressure on your face and you’re just like all right. It’s just one of those things you feel overwhelmed and growing inside you. You have to control it. I had solid games but nowhere near what it is now. I just wish I didn’t have to worry about what I did being a rookie trying to impress everybody early on and just play football.”After that somewhat spotty start to his career Qadree Ollison Jersey , McGlinchey has found his groove and has justified the decision the Niners (4-10) made when they drafted him ninth overall to be a foundation piece of the offense.San Francisco immediately traded incumbent tackle Trent Brown, one of the better pass blockers at the position, to New England and gave the starting job to McGlinchey.Coach Kyle Shanahan said some rookies can’t recover after being exposed early by top-level NFL players but that wasn’t a problem for McGlinchey when he struggled at times against Ingram in Week 4.“That never enters McGlinchey’s mind,” Shanahan said. “He thinks about what just happened, tries to get through it and I think him getting through that game and being able to make it through an injury and playing against a good player, that always gives guys confidence.”That confidence has built as the season has gone along and McGlinchey has been one of the better rookies in the league. His strong play has helped third-string quarterback Nick Mullens flourish in recent weeks and he has been a major part of a running game that was ranked in the top 10 in production for most of the season.But he’s still not satisfied.“I’m not where I want to be and I’m not sure you ever are as a football player,” he said. “But what I’m proud of this season is I’ve been stacking games together. Since a certain point of midway through the season I can feel myself getting better each and every week and taking things that I saw on tape last week or in practice and improving.”That’s been particularly crucial during a recent stretch where McGlinchey and the 49ers have once again been matched up against a string of elite pass rushers.San Francisco has matched up against Seattle’s Frank Clark in two of the past three weeks, with a date against Denver’s dynamic duo of Von Miller and Bradley Chubb in between. In all, the 49ers will have faced 10 of the top 13 leading sackers in the NFL this season after Sunday’s matchup against Khalil Mack and the Chicago Bears.As challenging as it was two weeks ago dealing with Miller’s speed rush off the edge, McGlinchey will have even more to deal with against Mack, a player he called the best pass rusher in the NFL.“It’s completely different,” he said. “(Mack’s) bigger, he’s stronger, he uses more power. With Von the challenge is staying in front of him. With Khalil it’s just about everything. Von is in a class of his own in terms of get off. Khalil is so multiple with how he can rush. That’s what his biggest strength is.”NOTES: S Jaquiski Tartt (stinger) will be placed on IR on Saturday and miss the rest of the season. … Marcell Harris will once again start in his place.

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