NEW 49ers NFL Draft Hats Available Now! →
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Sam Darnold on role with 49ers: “As long as we’re winning games, that’s the only thing that matters”

Mar 16, 2023 at 4:12 PM--

Sam Darnold is the newest San Francisco 49ers quarterback. He joins a quarterback room that includes third-year passer Trey Lance and second-year player Brock Purdy. The Niners are Darnold's third NFL team since the New York Jets made him the No. 3 overall pick in 2018. He spent the last two seasons with the Carolina Panthers, appearing in 18 games while starting 17.

Darnold felt that signing with the 49ers was an easy decision. He's excited about the opportunity to work with head coach and play-caller Kyle Shanahan and the other 49ers coaches.

The quarterback steps into a great situation, too. San Francisco undoubtedly has the most talented roster he has ever been a part of.

"Just excited to get started in this organization and get to work," Darnold stated on Thursday, speaking to 49ers reporters for the first time.

Lance and Purdy are attempting to return from serious injuries. Lance suffered a season-ending ankle injury on September 18, 2022. Purdy is out about six months after undergoing surgery to repair the tear of the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in his right elbow, an injury sustained in the NFC Championship Game.

"I mean, being in a really good organization was a priority for me, being with really good coaches and really good personnel as well," Darnold shared. "So those were kind of the top things for me. And, yeah, I'm very happy to be here, but understand that [I've] got to continue to work and work hard."

Darnold admits that he is focused only on what he can control. He isn't worried about his role with the team or position on the depth chart just yet. Nor has anything been promised to him.

"I think, for me, it's really coming in here and doing everything that I can to understand the offense," he said. "I know I have my work cut out for me when it comes to that. So I think that's just my focus right now, is doing whatever I can to help this team win games when it comes time to do that, whether that's me being the backup or starting. And that's my mindset."

Have there been conversations with the coaching staff about his role? The uncertainty at quarterback has created an opportunity for Darnold. He admits there are some unknowns with Lance returning from injury and the end of Purdy's recovery timeline coming dangerously close to the start of the regular season.

"I think those are things that, with a good quarterback room, as long as we stick together, and we understand that we just got to work hard and continue to put the best foot forward for each other, that everything's going to work out," Darnold explained. "And I think at the end of the day, as long as we're winning games, that's the only thing that matters to me.

"As I continue to get to know Trey and Brock, and talking to people around the building about those guys, it seems to me that all they care about is winning as well. And obviously, as a competitor, you want to play, but at the end of the day, you got to do what's right for the team.

"You leave those decisions up to Kyle. And we know that he's going to put the best guy out there and do the right thing. We just need to go out there and win."

Darnold hasn't spoken with Lance or Purdy yet, but he is very familiar with their play.

"I feel like all three of us are pretty similar," Darnold said. "We have the ability to get out and make plays when we need to ... and we can also throw from the pocket. So I see a lot of similarities in all three of our games and [I'm] just excited to work with them and meet them as soon as possible."

Darnold is also eager to familiarize himself with Shanahan's system. The veteran quarterback realizes mastering it isn't always easy but knows a quarterback can flourish if they do.

Said Darnold: "I understand there's a lot of different checks, a lot of different shifts, motions, formations, all those things, and I'm very excited about that opportunity to do that and just help this team however I can."

Related News

Nobody's perfect. Did you find a mistake in this article?
Report it.


Facebook Comments

More San Francisco 49ers News

What Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers saw in Sam Darnold

By David Bonilla
4 hrs

The San Francisco 49ers signing Sam Darnold was a bit of a surprise. It probably shouldn't have been, though. The team has liked the veteran quarterback for a while now. They did their homework on Darnold in 2018, leading to that draft, and flirted with the idea of trading for him in 2021 before the New York Jets sent him to the Carolina Panthers. The 49ers came calling when Darnold hit free agency this month, signing the quarterback to a one-year deal. The team already has other young quarterbacks—Brock Purdy and Trey Lance—on its roster. However, it's worth noting that both are attempting to return from injuries. Lance suffered a season-ending ankle injury in September. Purdy is expected to be out until at least early September after undergoing surgery on March

Rapoport: Sam Darnold will 'more likely than not' be 49ers' Week 1 starting QB

By David Bonilla
15 mins

Ah, San Francisco 49ers offseason quarterback drama. We haven't had that since … well, last offseason. If there is one thing you can count on with the Bay Area team on a yearly basis, it's quarterback drama. General manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan made one thing clear over the last two days: If he were healthy, Brock Purdy would be the frontrunner to start Week 1 of the 2023 season. However, he is recovering from his March 10 surgery to repair the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) tear in his right elbow. That will keep him off the practice field until maybe early September. That timeline could extend beyond September. It's just too early for

Sam Darnold eager to learn from 49ers, reunite with Christian McCaffrey

By David Bonilla
Mar 23

It feels like Sam Darnold has been in the NFL for a while now. It isn't easy to believe that the newest San Francisco 49ers quarterback is only 25 years old, despite already starting 55 NFL games. Darnold, speaking with 49ers team reporter Lindsey Pallares after signing his one-year deal with San Francisco, shared his eagerness to learn and continue to develop under head coach Kyle Shanahan. "I think there's a ton of ways [for me] to grow and develop," Darnold said, "just by getting tons and tons of reps throughout practice and being able to watch film, sit down with Kyle, sit down with [quarterback coach Brian] Griese and the other quarterbacks, Trey [Lance] and Brock [Purdy]; just to be

Podcast: 49ers with Grant Cohn: Are the 49ers the favorites in the NFC with Trey Lance?

By Rohan Chakravarthi
Mar 24

Rohan Chakravarthi and Grant Cohn discuss whether the 49ers are favorites in the NFC after free agency. The audio for the show is embedded above, while the video is available below. ?feature=share You can listen to "The Rohan Chakravarthi Show" from our


Trending News

Share 49ersWebzone