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FLORHAM PARK , N.J. (AP) — Josh McCown has seen many rookies step into the white-hot spotlight of the NFL and struggle.

The veteran New York Jets quarterback has also watched some youngsters thrive in the pressure, so he could be considered a bit of an expert on the topic.

That’s why it says a lot when McCown raves about Sam Darnold, the No. 3 overall pick who’s considered the future of the franchise.

“I don’t want to put any undue expectations on him, but I’ve been very impressed with him, I’ll be honest with you,” the 39-year-old McCown said after practice Saturday.

“Of any kind of rookie player I’ve been around, he’s been impressive how he’s handled information from the classroom and then to take it to the (practice) field and then take it to the game, he’s done just an excellent job of that.”

Darnold is competing with McCown and Bridgewater for the starting job, and the Jets are giving their prized rookie every opportunity to be under center when New York opens the regular season at Detroit on Sept. 10.

Darnold got the bulk of the snaps during practice Saturday, but split time with the first-team offense, mostly with McCown. Coach Todd Bowles hasn’t announced who’ll start against the Giants on Friday night, when the starters are expected to play into the second half.

The 21-year-old former USC star had a terrific debut in the preseason opener against Atlanta and had an up-and-down performance in his first NFL start last Thursday at Washington. Darnold went 8 of 11 for 62 yards with an interception and was sacked twice against the Redskins.

“After watching the tape, I thought I managed the game really well,” Darnold said. “I feel like there was one play down in the red zone where I could’ve maybe squeezed it into Jermaine (Kearse). It was the third down when I got sacked down there. So, just that play really sticks out to me.”

Then, Darnold pointed out another play in which he was intercepted by Troy Apke on a pass intended for Kearse on fourth-and-1 from the Redskins 20 midway through the second quarter. The rookie said there wasn’t much else he could’ve done on the play other than to maybe try a corner route to Robby Anderson.

“Other than that Bryan Bulaga Jersey , I thought I played a pretty solid game,” he said.

Darnold isn’t afraid to point out his miscues, which says a lot about his overall confidence in himself.

“He’s been impressive,” McCown said. “It’s a credit to his character that he has put the time in and we’ve just got to keep going and keep growing, but so far (he’s) one of the most impressive guys as a rookie that I’ve been around. … Like when Anquan Boldin came on the scene, he just kind of exploded years ago. He’s got kind of that same ability to operate like he’s been here before.

“It’s not too big for him. I think that’s the biggest thing.”

McCown witnessed the hype surrounding JaMarcus Russell when he came to the Raiders as the No. 1 overall pick in 2007. The former LSU star was out of the league just three years later.

McCown was with Cleveland in 2015, when Johnny Manziel was in his second NFL season. Manziel struggled so much on and off the field that he was out of the NFL after that year and is now playing in the CFL trying to resurrect his football career.

“Some of the other rookies I’ve been around probably didn’t come in as prepared or as ready for this league, I think, as Sam,” McCown said. “When you talk about whether it’s JaMarcus Russell or Johnny Manziel or some of those guys, they came in and (with) Sam, he’s ready to go as far as it doesn’t seem too big for him right now.

“He’s a mature kid. I think that’s the main thing, and I think that gives him a chance.”

Others have noticed, too. During joint practices with the Redskins during the week, cornerback Josh Norman spoke glowingly of Darnold’s abilities.

“It’s awesome,” Darnold said. “It’s cool to be able to Youth Malik Jefferson Jersey , I guess, have his respect, but I think it’s just cool to have a guy like that to notice me doing well in practice. You don’t really expect a vet to really talk about a rookie like that.”

But, in Darnold’s typical calm and cool approach, he didn’t make too much of the kudos.

“He was really just saying that some rookies can’t throw the ball and I can throw it,” he said with a laugh. “He was definitely very nice after the game, too, and we shared some words. So it was cool to be able to talk to him a little bit after and kind of just pick his brain on what he’s looking for, in terms of quarterbacks.

There it is again: Darnold is always trying to learn, or at least glean a little extra info that can make him better.

“I knew he was smart, and everybody learns differently,” Bowles said. “You don’t know until you get in and throw the playbook at him and see what they can comprehend and what they can’t. He’s done a great job of remembering everything and playing with poise and control. I’m happy with where he is.”

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Barring unforeseen circumstances, rookie Josh Rosen will begin his first NFL season on the sidelines as Arizona’s backup quarterback.

The preseason, though, will be his chance to shine Bills Game Jerseys , beginning Saturday night when the Cardinals play at home against the Los Angeles Chargers.

“We want him to play quite a bit and really get into the flow of the game,” coach Steve Wilks said.

Rosen said his two weeks of training camp have “gone really well.”

“I think I’ve gotten better pretty much every day since I’ve gotten here,” the former UCLA star said before Wednesday’ practice.

Sam Bradford is Arizona’s starter but the Cardinals view Rosen as their franchise quarterback of the future. Why else would they have moved up five spots in the draft to pluck him 10th overall?

Asked for specific areas of improvement since he became a pro, Rosen cites “a bunch of things.”

“The most tangible is probably the playbook,” he said. “I feel a lot more comfortable and fluid with it at the line of scrimmage. I’m focusing more and more with what the defense is trying to do to me rather than making sure I get the right snap count and in the right protection.”

He said he’s also picking up “the little things on how to use the double-cadence to try and buy yourself time and get someone offside, just little tricks of the trade I didn’t know when I was in college.”

From the beginning Bradford and Rosen seem to have gotten along well.

“Sam’s actually really good with all those little things,” Rosen said. “He’s a crafty vet and very successful for a lot of different reasons. He might not share every reason with me, but I’ll take advantage of the ones that he does.”

Bradford said Rosen “asks the right questions.”

“He’s hungry for information,” Bradford said. “It seems like he’s always trying to learn something. It doesn’t stop in the meeting rooms. Even at the dinner table he’ll ask me.

“It’s fun to be around someone like that and to hopefully try to be able to help him. I share with him some of the experiences I’ve had, some of the things I’ve learned over the years. Hopefully it can relate to him and can help him in some way.”

Wilks wouldn’t say how much Rosen will play on Saturday night but it will be long enough to do some serious evaluation.

“The mechanics of really running the offense,” Wilks said, “putting guys in the right position from a protection standpoint, going through his progression and reads and really just trying to detail the fundamentals.”

Rosen is running second on the depth chart, ahead of Mike Glennon, who also figures to play a lot Saturday.

Early in camp, Rosen said he was thinking too much.

“I think I’ve gotten a lot better since then and continue to each day ,” he said. “The less thinking you can do, the more you can allow yourself to physically do what I’ve been doing since Pop Warner, and play the game I know.”

As a big-name rookie quarterback, Rosen knows his every move will be scrutinized by fans and critics.

“It’s part of the game,” he said. “I stay relatively offline for the most part. The most pressure I feel from anyone is myself. I’m very, very highly self-critical, almost too much at times. There’s no pressure that should be greater than my own.”

There’s no changing his throwing style either, which includes an occasional sidearm toss on a bubble screen.

“It’s not just how hard or far you can throw it,” Rosen said. “It’s being able to change your arm slot and delivery. I think Aaron (Rodgers) is the best at it because sort of like mid-throw, your ability to throw sidearm to fit a quick screen in there or just kind of contort your body to get halfback screens and stuff in there.”

No one has tried to alter that style, he said.

“They drafted me for what I can do and I’m here to deliver that,” Rosen said.

He said he’s made preparation for the NFL a day-by-day process.

“Right now I’m fully in work mode,” he said. “I’m trying to be the best that I can be and over the course of my career I’m trying to win Super Bowls. And right now I’m trying to put my best foot forward in this preseason game.”
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