Jets QB Sam Darnold – Postgame Availability – December 20, 2020

Jets QB Sam Darnold – Postgame Availability – December 20, 2020

 

Rich Cimini, ESPN: Sam, could you just talk about the sense of emotion you were feeling as you were taking the knees in the victory formation at the end?

Yeah, I mean, it’s the greatest feeling in sports to be able to ice the game out and know we had it. It’s the best. Just that drive alone. We knew we couldn’t give it back to them and for us to be able to execute when we really needed to, that was something that, obviously, we haven’t done all year and to be able to execute and see it kind of come all into fruition, I think that was the biggest thing for us and it was an amazing feeling.

 

Otis Livingston, WCBS: Sam, how good do you feel for your teammates and the coaching staff given that you were 0-13 coming into this game, coming off a 37-point loss on the west coast as well, and then to come out to get the victory against a very tough Ram defense, in particular at defense.

Yeah, I mean, again, I thought we had a really good plan, I thought we executed really well. But the biggest thing for us was consistency throughout the game. For us to be able to continue to run the ball, continue to throw it, and for me just continuing to get the ball out in a timely manner, not taking so many negative plays and not throwing the ball to the other team. That’s, it’s huge. We were staying positive even if we had a setback, whether it’s a holding or that personal foul penalty, we were able to stay positive after that and end the drive with a kick, and that’s what Coach Gase, that’s what all the coaches talk about and that’s what we talk about as players, ending the drive with a kick, and for us to stay in as many manageable downs and distances as we could during that game. I thought our team did a really good job.

 

Brian Costello, New York Post: Sam, could you describe the third-and six before the two-minute warning there, what you’re looking for, and kind of when you saw Frank (Gore) flash open?

Yeah, I mean, it was a pretty simple design and Frank, when he got to the middle there was no one around him and he was waving his arms and I was like, ‘Alright Frank, I see you,’ so I just kind of dumped it down and he did a really good job, something we teach all the time, when he caught it he just backed his way into getting a first down. He didn’t even turn his shoulders, he just started backpedaling once he caught it. It was a great job by Frank that whole last drive.

 

Sam Farmer, LA Times: Sam, anything special about doing this in Los Angeles for you?

Not really, it’s just really special to get this win. That’s all I’m focused on and I can’t wait to go celebrate a little more with my teammates.

 

Brian Costello, New York Post: Sam, it would have been understandable if guys kind of packed it in a few weeks ago after the Raiders game and the way you guys lost in Seattle. How has this team kept it together?

We’ve got great guys. I’ve been saying it all year. We’ve got great guys in that locker room and a great coaching staff. Yeah, I’m super proud of them.

 

Rich Cimini, ESPN: Are there any particular plays from this game that you look back on as key plays that not necessarily offensive, just either special teams or defense, the ones that stand out to you the most?

Yeah, I mean, the punt block that we had was huge, a huge momentum swing. Marcus Maye, to be able to make that play at the end of the game for us, I know he dropped that pick on the bootleg late in the game and he said he had to make up for it, so he did a great job batting that ball away on fourth down. And Braden Mann, game-saving tackle, can’t say enough about him and his effort. I think he’s made a couple of those this year. Just a really good job overall, complimentary football all around and, again, just super proud of the guys.

 

Mark Cannizzaro, New York Post: Sam, do you recall being as emotion about a win as you are today even though you’re not kind of showing it to us now, but maybe in the locker room with the guys?

Yeah, I mean, it’s an amazing feeling. It’s amazing. Like I said, I just can’t wait to celebrate a little bit more with my teammates and coaches.

 

Brian Costello, New York Post: Sam, just how critical was it for you getting the ball out of your hand quickly today knowing what that Rams front can do?

Yeah, it was huge. That was our game plan coming in. We knew they were going to disrupt us up front and I knew I just had to get the ball out. And again, like I said, even if, especially early on, even if we didn’t necessarily get the first down on third down, as long as we kept having positive plays, that was our mindset coming into the game and our guys executed and we did a really good job today with that.

 

Otis Livingston, WCBS: Sam, as you’re probably aware there’s a lot of Jets fans that wished that you guys had lost out, gone 0-16, which, to me isn’t really a great fan in itself, but when you hear that kind of talk how does that affect you, how do you keep yourself focused on the job at hand and not listen to the outside noise because that number one pick is Trevor Lawrence, a quarterback?

Yeah, it doesn’t affect us. We’re focused on one job every single week and that’s winning a game. Anything other than that, we’re not focused on.