5 key observations from practice Day 8 at Panthers training camp

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /

Carolina Panthers QB Sam Darnold has another good day

Don’t look now, but Sam Darnold appears to be coming into his own.

The quarterback’s production has taken a huge leap forward since the pads went on this week. Something that will hopefully transition to the regular season and lead the Carolina Panthers to big improvements along the way.

Darnold was coming off his best practice since arriving via trade from the New York Jets. This was arguably even more impressive according to those watching from the sidelines.

Perhaps the most interesting thing to emerge over the last few days has been Darnold’s awareness in the pocket. This isn’t an easy defense to come up against, but the former USC star is composed and is making the right decisions more often than not.

There is a long way to go.

But this is highly encouraging and something that fans were looking to see from the player after most questioned the move to bring him in just before the 2021 NFL Draft.

His blossoming relationship with wide receivers, Christian McCaffrey, and tight end Dan Arnold has been another positive step in the right direction. We’ll find out much more about Darnold over the next week or so, but there is some clear momentum building from the signal-caller’s point of view.