3 positive takeaways from Sam Darnold’s first Panthers presser

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Carolina Panthers

(Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold

What were some positive takeaways from quarterback Sam Darnold’s first virtual presser as a member of the Carolina Panthers?

Sam Darnold spoke to the media for the first time since the Carolina Panthers decided to trade for the quarterback on Monday. The quarterback gets a big chance to prove he is more than capable of leading an NFL franchise after struggling over the last three years with the New York Jets, which might be down to the toxic environment and not the talent at his disposal.

Whether this move comes off for the Panthers remains to be seen. Carolina bet three draft picks that Darnold can make a better go of things in a more structured set-up and with more prolific weapons at his disposal. So this will undoubtedly be the story of the 2021 season and one that could reshape the landscape of the organization.

There is much work to be done where Darnold is concerned. We won’t know just how much his failed stint at MetLife Stadium has knocked his confidence until he gets onto the field. But the USC product needs to see this fresh start as a real opportunity to make a name for himself at the next level.

Darnold was very upbeat when speaking virtually with reporters. Here are some positive takeaways from the signal-caller’s first presser as a Panther.

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Takeaway No. 1

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(Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold

The chip on Sam Darnold’s shoulder

Sam Darnold coming into the Carolina Panthers with a chip on his shoulder is great news for the Carolina Panthers. The quarterback clearly feels slighted that the Jets made him surplus to requirements as they turn their attentions to BYU sensation Zach Wilson at No. 2 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft. So if this motivation is harnessed in a positive way, it is a win-win for both parties.

“To go from being unwanted to being wanted is huge. Getting that news that you’re going to be traded, of a team saying, ‘Hey, we didn’t want you,” for whatever reason, is hard. But right now, I feel great about it, and I’m excited to get here, and get started.”

Darnold knows the NFL is a business, or at least he should by now. He wasn’t exactly blessed with talent around him in New York. But his performances left a lot to be desired and it was probably best for everyone to go their separate ways.

Rejection always stings. However, if Darnold bounces back it’s going to make a massive difference.

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