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The big day finally arrived http://www.coltsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-tyquan-lewis-jersey , and Sam Darnold had the perfect plan for celebrating his 21st birthday.
"Playing football," the New York Jets rookie quarterback said with a huge grin.
The birthday boy is now officially of the legal drinking age, but Darnold wasn't expecting to toast the milestone Tuesday night.
"Probably not," he said, smiling. "I'll probably just stay in and go to sleep early, like I have been every single night."
Partying is not high on the list for Darnold, who's the youngest player on the Jets' roster 鈥?and the fresh-faced future of the franchise.
The No. 3 overall draft pick out of USC has taken a businesslike approach to his introduction to life in the NFL. Eat, sleep and dream football.
Those are Darnold's days. Every day.
"I'm making a ton of strides, but at the same time, I'm not exactly where I want to be," Darnold said. "But I know it's going to take time and it's a process. I'm aware of that and it's exciting, though, to understand the playbook the way I am and the strides I'm making. I'm really excited about where I'm going right now."
Darnold will compete with veterans Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater this summer for the starting job, and he's giving Todd Bowles and his coaching staff plenty to consider early in this offseason.
The youngster looked predictably shaky in his first practice of organized team activities two weeks ago, but has appeared increasingly more poised in the sessions open to the media since.
"He's just more comfortable with the playbook and obviously seeing things a couple of times will make you more comfortable," Bowles said. "He's just hard-working. Everything we thought coming in. He's going to work every day, wants to be good, understands the mistakes he makes, works at them night and day Jordan Howard Jersey , and watches film and asks questions.
"At this time of year, that's what you're supposed to be doing."
During Tuesday's practice, Darnold tossed a badly underthrown pass that safety Jamal Adams, last year's first-rounder, easily intercepted.
For a guy who was celebrating his birthday, it was certainly a gift 鈥?but for the defense.
"Yeah, I just made a bad read on it," Darnold said. "I should've just dumped it down to the back, but I tried to force one in there."
"He retains things when you tell him," Bowles said. "He makes mistakes, but doesn't make the same one twice, so he's very good from that standpoint as far as retaining information."
Late in practice, though, Darnold had perhaps his prettiest play as a pro. He zipped a deep pass down the sideline that dropped over the reach of safety Kacy Rodgers II and right into Chad Hansen's hands. It was a terrific throw and a reminder of why so many labeled Darnold as "special" in the months leading up to the draft.
But such is the up-and-down life of a rookie quarterback that Darnold overthrew his final pass of practice on a deep toss to a wide-open Jordan Leggett. There's no doubt Darnold would be spending part of his birthday night breaking that down in the film room.
Darnold's development has included lots of rewinding and fast-forwarding through plays, and dissecting every move. He's got that type of time now, because football is the only thing that matters these days.
"I don't have class, so I'm spending every single day in the film room or on the practice field http://www.patriotsauthorizedshop.com/authentic-danny-shelton-jerseyy ," he said. "So in regards to that, just being able to spend time watching football and playing football is awesome. To be able to come in here every single day and do it for a living, that's pretty sweet."
Darnold also recognizes the value of working with McCown and Bridgewater on and off the field.
"What makes it really cool is that they're really good players," Darnold said. "They've experienced ball and they understand what's going on on the field all the time, at all times. It's amazing to be able to learn from them. After that play with Jamal, to be able to talk about it with them is something that is really cool, to be able to do that right after the play and get that feedback."
Darnold has had to make several adjustments since coming to the Jets, including calling plays in the huddle 鈥?something he hadn't done much of at USC. He also says the increased pace of the game is evident, even in practice.
"It's faster, which is what I thought it would be, so it's been awesome," he said. "It's just been a learning experience, just learning every single day and getting used to it has been awesome."
Darnold says "awesome" a lot and sounds like a kid who's happy to be doing what he loves.
"You know, no, I don't feel any different," a smiling Darnold said of his milestone birthday. "It's cool to be 21, but at the same time, I'm just coming here every single day ready for practice. Nothing's changing for me."David Pastrnak’s first goal required a 180-degree spin as he settled down a bouncing puck, shifted it from his forehand to his backhand and flipped it into the net.
By the time he scored his second he had already added three assists.
And when the Bruins forward completed the hat trick Youth Justin Reid Jersey , faking out a second goalie with a forehand deke before sliding the puck between his legs, it was just one more chance for the Boston fans to celebrate his playoff coming-out party.
”Six points in a Stanley Cup playoff game with a hat trick,” coach Bruce Cassidy said Saturday night after the Bruins beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 7-3 to take a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven, first-round series. ”That’s special.”
Pastrnak shattered his previous career high of four points, scoring his third goal with 1:36 left to bring two trash cans full of caps and winter hats fluttering down to the ice. Only Wayne Gretzky (three times), Mario Lemieux and Patrick Sundstrom have recorded more than six points in an NHL playoff game.
”A lot of people in Boston already know how good he is,” linemate Patrice Bergeron said. ”I think people on the outside are getting to know.”
Bergeron and Brad Marchand had four assists apiece, Torey Krug had three, and Tuukka Rask stopped 30 shots for Boston. David Krejci, Rick Nash, Jake DeBrusk and Kevan Miller also scored – the second straight game the Bruins had five different players with goals.
”It’s not going to happen every night,” Cassidy said. ”At the end of the day, our guys do believe – from one to 12, I do believe our guys believe they can score.”
Two nights after Frederik Andersen allowed five goals in the series opener, he gave up three more on five shots in the first 12:13 before he was replaced by backup Curtis McElhinney. The Bruins added another power-play goal – their second of the night and fifth of the series – to make it 4-0 after one.
Mitch Marner, Tyler Bozak and James Van Riemsdyk scored for the Maple Leafs, who never got closer than three goals down after that. McElhinney stopped 19 of the 23 shots he faced.
The series moves to Toronto for Games 3 and 4 on Monday and Thursday. Game 5 would be back in Boston on Saturday, if necessary.
It doesn’t look like it will be.
”Look, we were outplayed for two games http://www.saintsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-tre_quan-smith-jersey , certainly,” Maple Leafs defenseman Ron Hainsey said. ”We deserve every bit of criticism far and wide. Good news is: (the) story’s not totally written yet. … We can try to change the story come Monday night.”
Already struggling on offense, Toronto lost No. 4 scorer Nazem Kadri for three games when he was suspended by the NHL for boarding Tommy Wingels in Game 1. Wingels, whose injury was not disclosed, skated in practice Saturday but did not play.
The Leafs could have used Kadri – and a few other scorers like him.
Pastrnak gave Boston a 1-0 lead five minutes into the game when he corralled a bouncing puck in the slot with his back to the goalie, settled it down, spun around and backhanded it in. After DeBrusk made it 2-0 on the power play four minutes later, Miller bounced one in off the back of defenseman Nikita Zaitsev to give the Bruins a three-goal lead and chase Andersen.
Just 11 seconds after Hainsey was given a double-minor for roughing, Nash made it 4-0.
Notes: The Bruins donated 0,000 to the Humboldt Broncos relief efforts, the money from a luxury suite auction and the team’s share of the 50/50 raffle at Game 1 of the series. Sixteen people died and another 13 were injured when the team’s bus collided with a truck last week in Saskatchewan. … With two goals on four power plays, the Bruins are now five for 10 in the series. … Ryan Donato, the son of former Bruin Ted Donato, made his playoff debut. They are the second father and son duo to play for the team in the postseason, joining two-time Stanley Cup-winner Ken (R.) Hodge and his son, Ken (D.) Hodge. … One of the biggest cheers of the night was when the scoreboard showed highlights of Wednesday night’s fight between the Red Sox and Yankees, then cut to brawl instigator pitcher Joe Kelly in the stands. The crowd broke into a chant of ”Yankees Suck!”.
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