Assessing Sam Darnold’s best practice of Panthers training camp so far

(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) Sam Darnold
(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) Sam Darnold /
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Sam Darnold
(Alex Hicks Jr./Spartanburg Herald-Journal via IMAGN Content Services) Sam Darnold /

Wednesday’s practice was the best so far from Sam Darnold as the quarterback looks to prove his doubters wrong with the Carolina Panthers in 2021.

Sam Darnold appears to be growing quickly into his role with the Carolina Panthers. The quarterback was brought in via trade from the New York Jets this offseason and although the jury is out as to whether he can thrive in different surroundings, it’s clear that the talent is there from a technical standpoint.

There aren’t many signal-callers in the league with more on the line than Darnold next season. The Panthers displayed a supreme level of confidence in the former first-round pick to not only trade for him after a difficult three years at MetLife Stadium, but they also picked up his fifth-year option before the deadline.

If Darnold left a notable impression during the voluntary portion of the offseason, then what he’s shown over the last two days of practice when the pads went on has been especially pleasing.

Wednesday’s session was the best of Darnold’s time in Carolina so far.

And it’s not even close.

There were plenty of table highlights from the USC product’s perspective. For the Panthers, it’s another potential glimpse of what Darnold could offer that Teddy Bridgewater didn’t manage to accomplish in 2020.

It’s just a start, obviously. But head coach Matt Rhule challenged Darnold to set the right tone during camp in pursuit of finally showing everyone what he can do when it matters most.

So far, so good.