5 things Sam Darnold must show during extended time vs. Steelers

(Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) Sam Darnold
(Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) Sam Darnold /
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Sam Darnold
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /

Sam Darnold must show courage going downfield

One of the main reasons why the Carolina Panthers moved on from Teddy Bridgewater this offseason was a lack of conviction getting the football downfield consistently.

There is an abundance of talent within the wide receiver room despite Curtis Samuel leaving for the Washington Football Team in free agency. But unless they get more productive play from their signal-caller, it will count for nothing.

Carolina is hoping Sam Darnold can change all that. For all his faults at MetLife Stadium, the No. 3 overall selection in 2018 has an absolute rocket for an arm and a velocity in his throws that leave reasons to be encouraged.

Providing the offensive line responds accordingly to the doubts being thrown their way, Darnold should get enough time to get the football downfield quickly should the opportunity arise.

Being tentative is only going to complicate matters for Darnold. His decision-making even from a clean pocket’s been called into question, so having the courage to take risks is the smartest route to go down at this juncture.

If the odd mistake comes, rather it is in the preseason than when he lines up against the team who gave up on him just before the draft.

Darnold might even manage to produce an eye-catching highlight or two along the way to give him an extra confidence boost before competitive action begins.