3 initial observations from Sam Darnold’s preseason debut

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /
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Sam Darnold
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /

Sam Darnold – Robby Anderson connection evident

It didn’t take long for the Sam Darnold connection to Robby Anderson to resurface. The pair developed nice chemistry from their time together on the New York Jets, which the Carolina Panthers are hoping can successfully translate into a different environment.

Darnold’s only completion of the night saw him connect with Anderson on his first snap for a nice gain. Although the quarterback went through his progressions well, his previous experience of knowing just when the wideout needs the ball from a timing standpoint made all the difference.

Considering how little Darnold was on the field, this was the big confidence boost he needed. Getting the quarterback relaxed in an unfamiliar surrounding is absolutely crucial ahead of what’s sure to be extended time against the Pittsburgh Steelers in their final preseason outing.

Carolina will be relying heavily on Anderson to smooth Darnold’s transition. This could also be mutually beneficial with the former Temple star heading into a contract year and looking for a big payday next spring with the Panthers or elsewhere on the free-agent market.

There’s not much to go off and it was all pretty basic when Darnold was on the field. But seeing the chemistry between the quarterback and Anderson was encouraging.