Le’Veon Bell: NFL did Sam Darnold dirty by airing “seeing ghosts”

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Jets running back Le'Veon Bell is bashing the NFL for allowing Sam Darnold‘s comments about “seeing ghosts” to make the Monday Night Football broadcast.

Darnold said he was “seeing ghosts” — meaning struggling to read the defense and thinking players were in different places than they really were — during Monday night’s blowout loss to the Patriots. Darnold was wearing a microphone for NFL Films, and that got on the air during the ESPN broadcast. NFL Films has to sign off before ESPN can use any audio from players during live games, and Bell wrote on Twitter that the league was wrong to put Darnold in that position.

The NFL screwed Sammy over,” Bell wrote. “There’s not one player in the NFL who’s cool with having every sideline convo broadcasted to millions. There’s a reason we’ve never heard other QB’s frustrated on the sideline like that before. That’s crazy. NFL did Sam dirty as hell.”

This incident will likely result in NFL Films being even more cautious about what makes the air, and will likely make those “mic’d up” segments less compelling.

93 responses to “Le’Veon Bell: NFL did Sam Darnold dirty by airing “seeing ghosts”

  1. They couldn’t resist the juicy soundbite. Thankfully I had the volume just loud enough to hear. Booger is terrible this year. Even worse than last year somehow. And I liked Booger on Sirius.

  2. I don’t anything done here was intentional or personal because it’s not on those that are controlling the audio, it’s team personnel that gives the O.K. in the first place. But, can anyone say that Sam Darnold wasn’t in the midst of a terrible beating both emotionally and physically and was just being brutally honest, in venting his frustration and personal pain?

  3. Explaining what he meant helps. They know the NFL fan base is full of trolls. What Darnold should do is look at his bank statement and then go to bed.

  4. Adam Gase and his Jets teammates did Sam Darnold ‘Dirty’ by not giving him any support in that game. Gase and their coaching staff in particular by not appearing to make any adjustments to the Pats blitz, blitz, blitz, game plan.

  5. He’s not wrong. I was surprised they aired that as well. Darnold is still young. Game has not slowed down for him yet. Course facing a BB coached defense doesn’t help at all.

  6. This is absurd. What is the point of being miced up if you can’t listen to everything that is said? If you’re going to edit or censor everything, well, I’m not interested. It was refreshing to see an NFL quarterback be honest about what he was seeing on the field. Don’t give in. Let us here the truth. The whole truth.

  7. The Jets knew they were going to get beat pretty bad. They should have said no to the league for getting their QB miked up. The league did nothing wrong. The comment shows what a great D can do to a QB. We’re told its a offensive league, it’s good to see D still getting credit when due.

  8. I guess I don’t get the uproar. I have certainly heard the term before. Have heard the analysts calling this whenever a QB was getting rid of the ball absent an urgent threat by a defender. “He’s seeing ghosts. He’s not comfortable in the pocket today.”
    Thought it was a fairly common term. I explained it to my son as soon as I heard it.

  9. It seems like fair game to me. Not sure what the big deal is. He was seeing ghosts. He had a bad game. It’s not a secret. Take it in stride and move on

  10. I honestly don’t see any problem with Darnold’s comments. He wasn’t prepared to face such a fierce defense, period. Prepare better and move on…

  11. I actually agree with him. While it was good for a lot of memes and banter, I thought it was a bit classless to play it during the actual game.

  12. I’m still confused by this. You knowingly wear a wire and you are mad at what you said on it? Seems to me the blame lies with the man in the mirror if you are going to point fingers.

  13. Somebody has to help me here. All day this was made into the biggest deal by almost every single voice that spoke on it. I just dont see it. Darnold is a 2nd year QB with not even a full year of in game experience going against an elite, maybe historic defense coached by the greatest football mind in the game. Darnold was overwhelmed … as every defense has been this year that’s ran into the Patriots. I will give Darnold credit because rather than acting like some know it all hot shot young QB who needs to be humbled and get defensive about bad play, he seems pretty self aware and honest with himself about how he’s performing.

  14. Not a chance in H-E double hockey sticks would I ever sign up for this. I swear, freak out and yell every time I play sports – at an old timers, recreation level. If I was being mic’d for TV purposes, they couldn’t use a single line. ** I’m not a psycho path, just the older I get the crappier I play, and the more my skills diminish. 🙂

    You think they might have screened out a bit of this to not make the kid look foolish.

  15. Ya maybe it should or shouldn’t have been aired. But the fact is, he knew he was wearing a microphone. You want to be mad??!! Be mad at the way you and your team including the QB played. Your QB had a 3.2 qb rating! I think the ghosts were the least of his problem.

  16. SO does making a rap video about being disrespected over money. ESPN asked, and Gase said YES. And lets not sugar coat it. The jets were flying high after beating the cowboys, and even as a patriots fan, the jest usually play us hard one game per year. There were expectations the jets would beat us/make it a good game.

    He was wired in case that were to happen.

    BUT IT DIDNT.

  17. Both NFL Films and ESPN deserved to be bashed.

    Even HOFer Brett Favre said “seeing ghosts” happened a lot to him in his first few years. Doesn’t mean it needs to be aired out in public and used to undermine the kid like that.

  18. I can’t believe any player would wanted to be mic’d up. In an era where fake news and taking everything out of context is the norm anything you say will be twisted.

  19. wwwwwhhhhhaaaaaaa cry me a river…. mic’d up isn’t just so fans can see their favorite players in a cool PC setting, the whole idea behind mic’d up is to give fans a nitty gritty look into the inner workings of the team and the interaction with the players. Personally I don’t think Darnold saying he saw ghosts as a big deal, he was just saying that the Patriots were doing a good job of hiding their defensive schemes. Beel, Darnold and the Jets are just embarrassed by their performance (or lack there-of) Monday Night and are lashing out at the “media”… they should be focussed on getting better not whining about a slip of the tongue

  20. I honestly did not see it in a bad light on Darnold. It was obvious what was happening on the field. Catching it being verbalized once real quickly was nothing in the midst of watching it happen over and over on the field. Had not everyone chirped up about it afterward it would be lost and forgotten. Its not like thats the first QB that has felt that way against the NE defense (I think its at least the 7th so far this year) its only the first time a mic caught it being verbalized.

  21. Sam Darnold signed a rookie deal worth $30 million. Not too bad for being screwed over.

  22. “This incident will likely result in NFL Films being even more cautious about what makes the air, and will likely make those “mic’d up” segments less compelling.”
    ——————–

    Only the media thinks like this.

    Previous “mic’d up” segments were just fine because players were comfortable knowing NFL Films would not screw them over. It’s was a great tool in promoting players, even though we knew a lot was being censored (ie swearing, being trash-talked after giving up a big play, angry shouting between teammates for missing an coverage or blocking assignment, etc.)

    Now players would be skeptical of having the mic on and the whole segment cancelled because no one wants to be put in the same situation as Darnold. I wouldn’t blame them either.

  23. The minute a player agrees to put a mic on, he is open game. Ummm, the point of the mic is to record what he says.

  24. What I don’t understand is someone is there to have to approve what is allowed to be aired. How can they strike it out if its live and he said it.

  25. The only people who made Darnold and the Jets look bad were the Pats and the Jets themselves with their terrible performance.

  26. Ya maybe it should or shouldn’t have been aired. But the fact is, he knew he was wearing a microphone
    ______
    That’s the least of the point. If you’re on tv don’t forget your mic is on. If you’re giving a speech don’t forget your mic is on. the middle of a football game he is NOT thinking about that. And if a player *is* focusing more on his microphone than on winning the game you’ve got a bigger pronlems.

  27. This seems to be bothering everyone more than Sam Darnold.
    It’s not that big a deal. He said something. It was true. When he gets a good coach, he’ll learn from it. Airing it or not airing should have zero effect on whether he plays better or worse from that point on in his career. If anything, the comment should be an indictment on Adam Gase and his lack of proper preparation and lack of adaptation during the game.

  28. What was more embarrassing was the advice QB whisperer Gase gave to his QB of “just pit the ball in the endzone”. Really?

  29. No player would wear a mic if they knew the stuff that they say like this would be aired. Darnold got hosed by this and it’s not right. Normally they play the most boring segments on mic.

  30. Well at least it was an authentic comment. Usually it’s just ridiculous stuff with the player play acting for the microphone.

  31. Pats are making every QB they face see ghosts…what’s the big deal about calling it like it is? Now let’s see if Baker Mayfield does any better.

  32. I don’t like the Jets but feel it was wrong to air this comment. One would hope there would be some common sense before selecting what comments are aired. Guess not.

  33. 1. I think I agree with Bell, strangely enough. There is talk in Jacksonville of wearing “ghost masks” to Sunday’s Jets game so the comment Will follow “Sammy” around for a while anyway. Maybe Dave Casper will come back and play with the J-E-T-S.

    2. Don’t bash Booger, we could end up with the all time worst announcer Dan Fouts.

    3. Adam Gase. Wow. How does this guy even get hired?

  34. Your team did him dirty by allowing him to be micd up against Bill, and your team did the fan base dirty with your horrible play

  35. Why are people dragging Darnold into this like he made any comments like Bell or Gase? He gave a good answer, said this stuff happens and he’s moving on. Bell is just backing his teammate up, Gase on the other hand has other things he needs to be focused on. Darnold is a really good dude and it’s crazy to see how many people actively root for him to fail now that he plays for the Jets, it’s very odd and which is why there’s some credence to this “controversy”.

  36. First time I’ve agreed with something that Bell has said. And I think he said this very well.

  37. Why would the Jets go along with mic’ing Sam in a high pressure game on MNF vs the Pats? And speaking of the Pats, it sure looked like Demaryius Thomas is still on NE’s payroll and NE somehow knew the Jets playbook.

  38. In the long history of Monday Night Football, there has never been a worse broadcasting team than Booger McFarland and the clown who is the play-by-play announcer. Watching a football game with the sound muted is not all it’s cracked up to be. I usually avoid ESPN but this was one of the few chances I get here in the Midwest to watch the Patriots.

    Howard Cosell, Frank Gifford, Don Meredith, and even Dennis Miller are turning in their graves but then, Miller isn’t “passed” yet has he? Whomever hired Booger McFarland needs to be fired.

  39. Yep…he’s right Why would the league feel the need to put the kid on blast like that? Anyone who watched 5 minutes of that game could see that. If I’m a player, there’s ZERO chance I’m letting them mic me up ever again. Another bonehead move by the league that gives the league‘s haters More ammo

  40. Why was this so bad? It’s not embarrassing that he was confused. It translated into he did not know where the blitzers were coming from. I would rather here I see ghosts than the same old boring congratulating his offensive line for a good block. Why mic the qb and put boring dialogue on. Chill out Bell and Gase!

  41. I don’t see what is so bad about what Darnold said. It was honest. However, if they are as upset as they seem to be I think NFL films will have a hard time having anyone wear a mic anymore. It seems to me they should have cleared it before airing it. Nothing like biting the hand (players) that feeds you.

  42. “There is talk in Jacksonville of wearing “ghost masks” to Sunday’s Jets game so the comment Will follow “Sammy” around for a while anyway”

    Lolz instead of screaming and yelling Jags fans should all be going “wooo oooooo oooohhhhh ohhhhh” making ghost sounds, Darnold will melt down like a 3 year old if they do that

  43. They sure did

    Who in the organization green-lighted having Darnold mic’d up for THIS game???

  44. Sam is a young talented QB going against arguably the greatest cheat…ahh ahem errr…I mean coach of all time. Its not surprising he was seeing ghost. Not a fan of either team but I wouldn’t worry too much if I was a jets fan. Now your coach that is another story. If you see your young QB is getting puzzled out there against BB do something to protect the guy in particular when he can’t protect himself. Gase is not HC material, he just isn’t…

  45. I wouldn’t do any comparisons with the lackluster broadcasting crew on ESPN and the Golden age of Gifford, Meredith,etc. Please remember that the primetime NFL game we knew as Monday Night Football became Sunday Night Football. What we have on ESPN is the expansion team that replaced it.

    And the clowns at ESPN did a disservice to Darnold by airing that clip.

  46. Seeing ghosts, yet who is probably one of the worse head coaches, see what he did to Miami, is absolutey clueless to help his young QB. It looks like Darnold doesn’t even now how to throw an NFL pass, Gates is more of a QB and team killer than a QB “guru” though it must be nice riding the long coattails of Peyton (include Elway as the other passenger) with out really accomplishing anything.

  47. People saying the NFL was stupid here because it will make it hard to get players to be mic’d up should get a grip. Teams have no choice about Hard Knocks. They will have no choice about being mic’d up either.

  48. Le’Veon Bell quit on the Steelers,so you could say that he “did them dirty.” Besides that,Darnold’s coach and team are the ones who let him down. Don’t allow a 22 year-old kid to be mic’d up for a game. Darnold should just try to put this behind him. It’s not half as embarrassing as a “butt fumble.” Mark Sanchez will NEVER live that down.

  49. @bobmillion

    If you think that’s what Darnold looks like every game you haven’t been watching. If the guy didn’t know how to throw the ball he wouldn’t of thrown for 300+ yards or scored on the longest play from scrimmage this season the week prior against a D that just man handled Philly. A QB’s mechanics going squirrelly leading to turnovers when he’s pressured on 63% of drop backs is not a new concept especially with young QB’s. The fact is the Pats defense is elite and they will go down in the history books when it’s all said and done, and if we made a conclusion on Daniel Jones or Josh Allen after their game against NE like everyone so desperately wants to do with Darnold they would be considered busts too.

  50. The reason players are mic up is to provide the audience with the rare great comment. That is what happened. And blame should surely not go to an NFL supposed censor who would have no idea what the comment even meant. Is the broadcast supposed to translate every qb speekage before determining if it is broadcast worthy?

  51. The issue is that Belichick obviously has a Ouija board guy on the sideline whose job is to summon ghosts to disrupt the other teams offense. The NFL needs to investigate this

  52. I’d tend to agree with Bell here. Darnold is a kid and this is likely going to follow him around to some degree for the rest of his career. I suspect just about every young QB to ever enter the NFL has had “ghosts” moments against elite defenses. A lot more tact could have been used here.

  53. ryann252013 says:
    October 23, 2019 at 11:28 am
    @bobmillion

    If you think that’s what Darnold looks like every game you haven’t been watching. If the guy didn’t know how to throw the ball he wouldn’t of thrown for 300+ yards or scored on the longest play from scrimmage this season the week prior against a D that just man handled Philly. A QB’s mechanics going squirrelly leading to turnovers when he’s pressured on 63% of drop backs is not a new concept especially with young QB’s. The fact is the Pats defense is elite and they will go down in the history books when it’s all said and done, and if we made a conclusion on Daniel Jones or Josh Allen after their game against NE like everyone so desperately wants to do with Darnold they would be considered busts too.

    —————————–

    If you actually read it it said it “looks like” (especially in that game) did not say that he can’t. Pats only win against a good team is the Bills which they did not look elite at any level, so maybe before we put them in the history books maybe a few more wins against actual good NFL teams instead of what would be the NFL worst teams in Jets (twice), Miami, Washington, Giants and what now looks like a very bad overall Pittsburgh Team without AB. Maybe if Gase could actually coach he could have the QB ready to play instead of just launching the ball.

  54. The only people who were done dirty were Jets fans by that awful display of football being put out there by that awful team that you are a part of.

  55. Wow, people actually listen to the broadcast. I was watching with the volume turned down as always. So I did not know about the comment until I read it the next day. Darnold did look off right from the start. It looked like what he said.

  56. I don’t see how this is even that big of a deal. Young, inexperienced QB has trouble reading the #1 defense in football – wow, what a shocker.

  57. The jets ought to change the plane on their helmet to either Boeing 737 or go old school and use the DC-10. Both planes pretty much sum up the jets.

  58. If he is wearing a microphone what do you expect?. Get over it. Now he’s got another injury. Talk about a chapter of
    Accidents. Just face it ‘the Jets suck, and Gase should be fired.

  59. How is this different from the airing of what Brady said during SB 46: “It’s like throwing into a forest.” If the Giants got wind of that in real time, they would know they had the right scheme.

  60. Why is this a big deal? All he was saying was he was confused and they were disguising their defenses well. I think we could all see that from the results. Much talk about NOTHING.

  61. I really don’t see this as a big deal, although they shouldn’t have aired it in these hyper-sensitive times. It’s just an expression, I’ve used it as a fan on some of our QB’s. Nothing wrong with admitting what everyone can see.

  62. Blame Adam Gase and the rest of the incompetent Jets staff and front office. They are the ones who agreed to let Darnold be miked up.

  63. Remember when American Football players were considered the biggest, baddest, toughest athletes on the planet? Now they are worried about a guy’s FEELINGS?

  64. Staring down a receiver:

    Veteran QB “He knows were to go with the ball”
    Young QB “He’s got to learn how to move the defense with his eyes”

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