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 get into a rhythm

It was hard to gauge just what Sam Darnold got out of his limited time on the field against the Baltimore Ravens.

While it was good for the player to get his gameday uniform on and acquire a brief glimpse of what might be to come during one series, there wasn’t really an opportunity for Darnold to get into any sort of rhythm with two two pass attempts as Joe Brady utilized Chuba Hubbard heavily in the red-zone.

Things should look different for the signal caller on Friday.

A full half of real-time football in the face of a playoff-caliber defense is a solid measuring stick for Darnold. Something that should also allow the player to fully acclimatize to life on the field with the Carolina Panthers before Week 1.

Darnold’s chemistry with his primary playmakers made steady progress throughout training camp. This was also evident in red-zone situations with the likes of Dan Arnold and Terrace Marshall Jr. consistently.

Timing and rhythm are everything to a quarterback. Especially one such as Darnold who is about to embark on a make-or-break campaign relating to his career aspirations moving forward.

If he can settle well, make the right reads, and turn red-zone opportunities into touchdowns, that’s all Carolina is potentially looking for at this stage.