Ryan Kalil: Gase ‘didn’t give Sam [Darnold] a lot of room to grow’

Former Jets center Ryan Kalil said that Adam Gase may have hindered Sam Darnold’s development as a young quarterback. Kalil, who was a two-time All-Pro during his dozen years with the Carolina Panthers before heading to the Jets, said that the system Gase implemented did not allow Darnold much control in the offense.

“It was a system that didn’t allow a lot of individual freedom. It was very, ‘You do it this way and that’s it,'” Kalil told Joseph Person of The Athletic. “A lot of the scheme was pre-determined (plays) based on what they thought they were seeing from the sideline.

Kalil spent nearly all of his career with the Panthers, where Darnold was recently traded, before joining the Jets in 2019 for his final season. Kalil said that he was impressed by Darnold, who was a second-year starter at the time, but felt that he was not getting to reach his full potential under Gase, who was fired after last season.

“It didn’t give Sam a lot of room to grow, in my opinion, to make decisions on the fly,” Kalil said of Gase’s system. “It worked in some instances, but it handicapped him in the long run.”

Now, Darnold will have the opportunity to show if he has the makings of a legitimate starting quarterback in Carolina, where he is expected to be the team’s starting quarterback in Week 1.

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