4 early Sam Darnold observations from Panthers training camp

(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) Sam Darnold
(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) Sam Darnold /
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Sam Darnold
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /

What are the big things to take away from Sam Darnold’s opening to Carolina Panthers training camp ahead of the 2021 season?

There are few players in the NFL with more pressure on their shoulders heading into the new season than Sam Darnold. The quarterback is looking to stake a long-term claim with the Carolina Panthers after arriving via trade from the New York Jets, which represents something of a gamble by the organization considering his level of production so far.

The Panthers clearly see something in Darnold. Senior figures within the organization were big fans of his potential coming out of college and feel this sort of environment will bring out the best in him moving forward.

Getting off to a strong start at training camp is crucial. Darnold left a solid impression during the early portion of the offseason – which is great – but how he builds on this in the coming weeks before going up against his old team in Week 1 at Bank of America Stadium is even more important.

It’s only been three days of seeing Darnold on the field so far. Things could get more interesting for the player when the pads go on next week and with upcoming scrimmages against the Indianapolis Colts and Baltimore Ravens also on the camp schedule, it’ll tell us plenty about what Carolina can expect from their new signal-caller in 2021 and possibly beyond.

Although it is still early days, here are four big observations from Darnold’s opening practices at Panthers training camp.