Jets quarterback Sam Darnold is happy his team added Le’Veon Bell.
New York signed the star running back to a four-year, $52.5 million deal in mid-March. Darnold, 21, was asked about Bell when he met with reporters Thursday during OTAs.
“Obviously, we know what Le’Veon is capable of,” Darnold said. “Once we signed him I was pumped, just super stoked to have him on our team and for me to have him as a weapon. To be able to check the ball down, get him out in space, have him running routes, there’s so many things we can do. … So, I’m really pumped about it.”
New Jets coach Adam Gase reportedly did not want the team to sign Bell — who missed all of 2018 after holding out from the Steelers over a contract dispute. Gase, however, denied that was the case when he met with reporters Thursday.
Gase was promoted to interim general manager after New York fired Mike Maccagnan last week.
🎬 LIVE 🎬
Coach Gase speaks to the media during Week 1 of OTAs. https://t.co/aCN74Qem9Z
— New York Jets (@nyjets) May 23, 2019
“We signed him,” Gase said. “I’m excited we have him. I’ve been in constant communication with him.”
Bell later responded to Gase’s comments on Twitter.
Yup ✊🏾 Let’s get it Coach ✈️ https://t.co/1lZHScntjz
— Le’Veon Bell (@LeVeonBell) May 23, 2019
Darnold, meanwhile, completed 57.7 percent of his passes and threw for 17 touchdowns, along with 15 interceptions, in 13 games as a rookie for the Jets last season. He said he was excited to learn Gase’s offense.
“It’s been really fun to learn a new offense, kind of understand what coach Gase wants to do, how aggressive he wants to be,” Darnold said. “But (we’ve been) really making sure that we take a step back and realize it’s not going to be perfect Day 1 or Day 2 or Day 3. This week (at OTAs) it was definitely a process — that’s the word I would use to describe it.”
The Jets finished 2018 with a 4-12 record and missed the playoffs for an eighth straight season. They fired former coach Todd Bowles in late December and hired Gase to replace him.