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The Carolina Panthers brought in Sam Darnold this offseason with hopes that he could build on the small momentum that Teddy Bridgewater created in 2020.
Darnold struggled in the New York pressure cooker as a member of the Jets, but a change of scenery may rejuvenate the former first-round pick.
Panthers offensive coordinator Joe Brady sees real potential in the embattled quarterback.
“I have something with him. I’m confident in Sam. I feel like he has a great grasp of the offense right now,” Brady said. “He is making the routine plays routinely.”
Not exactly effusive praise, but a calm confidence can go a long way in the NFL. Quite often the best situation to be in as an NFL player is flying under the radar, not making headlines, and just doing your job well.
Carolina isn’t expected to win many games this season—their FanDuel Sportsbook win total is set at a modest (7.5) wins—so a .500 season would likely be considered a success. It’s the perfect place for Darnold to regroup and get back to what made him special coming out of USC in 2018.
Coincidentally, Darnold’s first regular season test will be against his former team, the Jets, who will be breaking in a shiny new rookie quarterback of their own in Zach Wilson. And so it goes.