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New York Jets practice notes: Sam Darnold-to-Breshad Perriman connection building chemistry

Sam Darnold, Breshad Perriman
Jet X Graphic, Getty Images

A Wednesday New York Jets practice in Florham Park featured a Sam Darnold-to-Breshad Perriman connection that’s building chemistry.

Robby, who?

Thanks to his ridiculous speed, Breshad Perriman was forced into a specific category that was not all-too-flattering. Sure, he can run the go-route, but what else could he do for young Sam Darnold?

It’s now obviously clear to pigeonhole this guy is to not understand football in the league. After five practices, it’s evident: This man can do multiple things at the NFL level.

Wednesday’s practice featured the Darnold-to-Perriman connection a bunch. It started early with the former Baltimore Ravens first-round selection taking a Darnold slant to the house for 80-or-so yards. (Arthur Maulet was quickly benched after the terrible coverage.)

Perriman, 26, has been hauling in Darnold passes from every angle thus far. His full use of the route tree and hard work to learn Adam Gase’s offense has been apparent.

“Yeah, he’s been great so far,” Darnold said about his new receiver after practice. “He just does all the little things right, which is all you (can) ask for. He comes in, does everything he needs to do. He’s very good in meetings. He knows what he’s doing on the field, too, which, obviously is the most important part. He’s been really good so far and we’re just looking for him to have a big year for us and contribute in a big way.”

Although conventional wisdom had fans riding the Robby Anderson bandwagon, when Joe Douglas decided to let him sign with Carolina, Perriman arrived with expectations that did not match up with his actual talent.

In terms of contested catches, back shoulders and toe-tapping on the sidelines, Perriman easily trumps Anderson’s skills in those areas.

“Yeah, he’s a great dude,” Darnold added. “He’s super explosive. Very explosive athlete. Gets in and out of cuts. Big dude as well. So he’s everything you want in a receiver.”

Early on, the chemistry between No. 14 and 19 has been something of note. Even the head coach has noticed it.

“It seems like those two have a good chemistry, very quickly,” Gase said of the Darnold-Perriman connection. “I think Perriman did a great job of, when we went through the offseason, he was really good about staying on everything, studying, and then continued that when the offseason was over.”

The coaching staff immediately noticed the mental work he put in.

“He wasn’t making mistakes lining up. His knowledge of the playbook. He’s quick to make adjustments when the coverages change.”

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La’Mical Perine sighting

La’Mical Perine was extremely active Wednesday. Unlike previous sessions, he carried the ball a decent number of times (plenty of zone-scheme rushes), and he also caught the ball a little out of the backfield.

On one such occasion, he beat fellow rookie Ashtyn Davis on a wheel route. James Morgan found him for the 30-or-so-yard big play that was close to crossing the goal line.

Another Perine wheel route featured big-man Kyle Phillips keeping up with the kid along the sideline. Quarterback Mike White, who saw a decent number of reps, underthrew the ball. If he led him just enough, it could have been a score, but the incompletion and successful coverage play had defensive coordinator Gregg Williams and his unit fired up on the sideline.

Ramping up the physicality

After a country club feel took hold during Tuesday’s walkthrough, the physicality has begun to ramp up a bit. Frank Gore took it upon himself to truck new guy Bradley McDougald near the goal line on an inside-to-mid zone that featured tremendous one-cut vision.

The offensive line successfully pushed the front to the play-side which allowed Gore to cut it up and beat back-side edge man Jordan Jenkins to the spot. The play resulted in a truck job of McDougald and a red-zone rushing touchdown.

Physicality also showed up when Harvey Langi knocked down a scrambling David Fales. The defensive would have probably been credited with a coverage sack on the play and Langi took it upon himself to knock down Fales after he scrambled for about five. The two sides playfully talked a little trash. If it had been Darnold, perhaps the trash-talking would not have been so playful.

Another nice pop came in the form of Le’Veon Bell finding himself on the ground after Maulet decided to lower the shoulder. On another zone-rushing concept, Maulet popped him from an outside-in spot while Marcus Maye came from an inside-out perspective.

Bell appeared to embrace the contact and the resulting knockdown.


The usual suspects remained out of action but another man joined the list. Backup offensive lineman Conor McDermott went down during teams with a knee. Gase told reporters after practice that he’d be getting an MRI.

The Jets will get right back after it Thursday morning.

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