Learning Preference Held Back Jaelon Darden
May 14th, 2022
Last year fourth-round pick, wide receiver Jaelon Darden, frustrated many Bucs fans as a rookie.
Among a sea of stud, veteran teammates, Darden looked like a very green rookie not ready for prime time at receiver or as a returner.
No, Joe did not expect a fourth-rounder out of the University of North Texas to break out as a rookie star, but Joe was among the fans thinking Darden was overmatched.
Wide receivers coach Kevin Garver spoke recently at One Buc Palace and got candid about what may have held Darden back on offense: a lack of playing time.
Garver explained that some players can thrive watching film and execute what they learn and see while others can see pictures and diagrams and understand a route.
“Some guys need to actually get those physical reps [to succeed]and I think that Jaelon probably fits in more to that category, ”Garver said of Darden.
Of course, the Bucs did not have a lot of reps for Darden, so that held him back.
Darden’s position coach outlined his great transition from North Texas and said Darden appeared more confident after the midway point last season and that it’s carried over into spring practices this month. Great news!
Training camp and preseason will be huge for Darden, Garver said, “more the telltale sign for him.”
Most good players make a massive leap in their development from Year 1 to Year 2. Joe has no reason not to expect Darden to make that leap. He got good coaching and has had a sea of mentors around him, including daily love from Tom Brady.
After a quiet rookie year, Scotty Miller found his way to 33 catches for 501 yards and three touchdowns in his sophomore campaign. Can Darden do the same?