Vikings Push More Sam Darnold Hype Through ESPN Insider; Temper J.J. McCarthy Expectations

Sam Darnold, Minnesota Vikings
Credit: Photo courtesy of the Minnesota Vikings

The Minnesota Vikings are going through a franchise altering quarterback transition and head coach Kevin O’Connell has devised a multi-step plan that we can see play out right before our eyes.

First, the MN Vikings worked to build and integrate a “high volume passing system” around Kirk Cousins, with requisite weapons for an offense like that to thrive. Then, they paid the most talented superstar on their team, while moving to get cheaper and younger at the quarterback position.

Their logic: Now that the Vikings have a modern passing offense installed and legitimate dudes all over, from the line out to the skill positions. KOC & Co believe they can now boost the playing ability of whichever quarterback they insert, especially if they have immense talent.

So, they drafted J.J. McCarthy with the No. 10 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft and signed a 26-year-old former No. 3 overall pick, in Sam Darnold, who *SOME* believe still has immense amounts of “untapped potential”. So far, the Vikings believe that plan is working out perfectly.

Minnesota Vikings LOVE Sam Darnold… and they want everyone to know about it

And, you can 100% count those at TCO Performance Center in Eagan as members of the *SOME* who still believe in their new free agent quarterback, especially after seeing him in action the past couple months.

ESPN NFL insider Jeremy Fowler found that out when he went digging for the latest on how the Minnesota Vikings “QB competition” might be playing out, now that OTAs are over. When he opened that door, he was bombarded with suffocating amounts of Sam Darnold hype regarding “untapped potential” and their belief that he could, not only start games, but “potentially thrive” in his new situation.

“Sam Darnold, the Vikings believe that there is untapped potential here, that there’s a lot of ability. He’s never had a supporting cast quite like this. So they believe he can not only start games but potentially thrive if everything goes well.”

Jeremy Fowler – Saturday morning SportsCenter (ESPN)

If you have been following along with us here at Minnesota Sports Fan, then you know this is only the 3,453th time that the MN Vikings have sent out smoke signals pushing Sam Darnold hype out into the football atmosphere.

Related: Travis Kelce Believes Sam Darnold Starts NFL Comeback Story with Vikings

Some are taking it seriously, others are not. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that Kevin O’Connell isn’t know as a coach or leader who sets his players up for failure. I find it hard to believe we would be hearing this many good things about Darnold, if he wasn’t actually impressing that many people. False hype like that wouldn’t help anyone.

For example, look at the Vikings rookie quarterback, J.J. McCarthy, who is getting the opposite treatment as Darnold. Instead of shouting from the rooftops every time he completes a nice pass, or posting every accomplishment he achieves all over their social media channels, the Vikings have made a concerted effort to hide McCarthy from public eye and temper expectations, whenever given the opportunity.

MN Vikings continue to temper expectations on J.J. McCarthy

That included with Jeremy Fowler, when he came calling. Not only did they push more Sam Darnold hype on Fowler, but they told we shouldn’t expect to see the Michigan QB anytime soon. That possibly even a full season learning learning a high volume passing offense behind the scenes “would be good for him”.

“So their plan would be to sit J.J. McCarthy to a unknown amount of games, whether it’s a full season, however many games, they believe that if he could learn a high volume passing system behind the scenes, at least for a little bit, it would be good for him.”

Jeremy Fowler – Saturday morning SportsCenter (ESPN)

So, if you are listening, Minnesota Vikings fans. Not only will J.J. McCarthy not start the NFL season as this team’s QB1, those making decisions for the MN Vikings are hoping he doesn’t take a real-game snap all season.

Rumor: J.J. McCarthy is Threatening to Hold Out of Minnesota Vikings Training Camp

Why? Because they believe Sam Darnold can lead them to actual success, given the weapons and offensive system he is playing in. And, because they do not believe McCarthy is ready to handle what would be on his plate as KOC’s starting quarterback. Not yet, anyway.

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