It was a mere nine years ago that a rookie Jets quarterback was so awe-inspiring in how he didn’t screw up that observers were only able to describe him with one word: poise. Well, Mark Sanchez now has a true heir. In last night’s season opener, first-year Jets QB Sam Darnold went 16-for-21 with 198 yards and two passing touchdowns as the team thumped the Lions 48-17. This came after his first career pass resulted in a pick-six, so you know damn well what that means:
Here’s Manish Mehta of the Daily News using “poise” twice in one article—four if you include the photo caption and headline:
Let’s see that poise in the copy!
Sam Darnold wiped away the indignity of starting off his NFL career with a pick-six with a poise and calmness reserved for special players.
Whether it was hitting Quincy Enunwa on a key 3rd down later in the first quarter that ultimately led to a score or his first career touchdown pass – a 41-yard strike to Robby Anderson – Darnold was back to his typical poised self after the nerves subsided.
Rich Cimini of ESPN:
For months, the Jets praised Darnold’s poise and mental toughness, saying those traits would serve him well when adversity strikes. They just never imagined it would happen on the first play of his career.
Al Iannazzone of Newsday:
Darnold admitted he was nervous on that interception, but he refocused after he went to the sideline. When he came back, he displayed poise and resilience and his trademark mobility, leading three first-half scoring drives.
Joseph Zucker of Bleacher Report:
From that point forward, though, Darnold showed a ton of poise, which is a necessity for a rookie quarterback.
Not only does Darnold have poise, but the Lions demonstrably do NOT:
Really, Darnold has had poise since the preseason. Take it from his coach, Todd Bowles:
“I knew he had poise,” Bowles said.
H/t to Ben