USC QB Sam Darnold working with Jordan Palmer to shorten throwing motion

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USC’s Sam Darnold may be the first quarterback selected in next year’s NFL Draft. He’s widely considered one of the top quarterback prospects potentially set to enter the 2018 class when he becomes eligible following his redshirt sophomore season in Los Angeles.

But Darnold is already beginning to work on changing perhaps the single biggest flaw in his game prior to his season getting underway with the Trojans.

According to Joey Kaufman of the Orange County Register, Darnold is working with Jordan Palmer with the hopes of shortening a lengthy release time with his throwing motion.

“His circle is, when your hands come apart, the ball comes down a little bit, and then it starts to come back up and then it goes all the way up behind your head and it goes forward when you throw,” Palmer said. “Right now, Sam’s circle is bigger than it needs to be.”

Darnold compared his throwing motion to that of Jameis Winston. Byron Leftwich was a quarterback that was frequently plagued by a lengthy throwing motion as well.

Darnold believes he can improve and create the needed muscle memory with enough repetition.

“I’ve done it before,” Darnold said, “to create muscle memory to do things or not to do things. I think if I can just continue to work on it, it’ll improve, you know?”

Darnold replaced Max Browne as USC’s starter after three games last season. The change turned USC’s season around and helped them earn a trip to the Rose Bowl. He threw for 2,900 yards with 29 touchdowns and eight interceptions in 10 starts to close out the season. The Trojans finished the season with nine straight victories after dropping Darnold’s first start to Utah.

9 responses to “USC QB Sam Darnold working with Jordan Palmer to shorten throwing motion

  1. I didn’t notice any problems with his release. He got rid of the ball when he had to. Come to think of it, Tom Brady doesn’t have a perfect release either. Perhaps Jordan Palmer can help out Tommy too.

  2. I hate the term “muscle memory.” Muscles are not capable of memory. Only our brain is capable of memory. The proper term to be applied here is “reflex”

    Reflex: an action that is performed as a response to a stimulus and without conscious thought.

    Darnold is to train until the smaller throwing circle becomes a reflex.

  3. Jordan Palmer works with tons of the young QBs with potential and knows his stuff. Funny jokes though.

  4. That throwing motion is as bad Tim Tebow’s. If not, worse. It reminds me of Shaun Hill. Way too long. I don’t get why quarterbacks don’t train with baseball catchers. Long motions mean weak arm strength. Big arms only use their wrist and forearm, like a flick, throwing a dart. Long motions mean they need their arms and legs, and body. See Marino would Alex Smith.

  5. Kind of a little late to correct his throwing motion ain’t it? Should have done that in high school if not earlier.

  6. Also, throwing motions are only a thing if it takes you a longer time to process what the defense is doing to you, something Leftwich had problems with coming out of a spread offense like all of those QBs experience growing pains going through, while Jameis Winston has been among the least sacked QBs in the league despite not exactly inheriting Dan Marino’s 80s line talent wise. Since Darnold is coming out of a pro offense too, I think it would be a nonissue for him too. Phillip Rivers is another guy who this has been no issue for because of his background.

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