5 big fears for Carolina Panthers fans during 2021 season

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold and Matt Rhule
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold and Matt Rhule /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /

Carolina Panthers quarterback play

Banking on Sam Darnold’s potential and overlooking his previous production is all well and good. But it’s hard to look at this situation with any sort of confidence and fans of the Carolina Panthers are right to be fearful of this current situation.

Darnold has the intangibles, even if we didn’t see them on a consistent basis during his three years with the New York Jets. The signal-caller was suspect in his decision-making and was constantly flustered under pressure, something that means trading for the USC product represents a substantial gamble by the Panthers and one that could go either way.

If Darnold hits his stride early and thrives in different surroundings, then the Panthers will have struck gold from a deal that’s cost them nothing more than a second-round pick after Scott Fitterer’s maneuvering during the draft.

However, should Darnold revert to type and display the same deficiencies we saw at MetLife Stadium, it could leave the Panthers right back where they started at the end of 2020.

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What comes next will be down to Darnold and the coaching staff. They have to work fast to rid the signal-caller of some concerning elements from his game during training camp. And in truth, their 2021 season probably depends on it.