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 not get flustered

There will be difficulties for Sam Darnold. That’s just par for the course when it comes to playing quarterback in the NFL.

How he overcomes these will be the biggest factor regarding his production.

Getting the necessary protection in front of Darnold will be absolutely crucial for the Carolina Panthers. Some real doubts surround the starting unit outside of stud right tackle Taylor Moton, so getting them onto the field for meaningful game environment reps will tell us much more about what this patchwork unit can accomplish.

Darnold knows what constant pressure feels like. He experienced this on almost every down with the New York Jets and if the same happens again, some real complications could emerge for the player and the organization.

Remaining composed is the key.

Nobody is expected Darnold to be Aaron Rodgers, so piling too much pressure on himself could lead to rash decisions we’ve seen plenty of during his career so far.

Darnold is moving with more purpose in Carolina. And being freed from the Jets is something that’s benefitted the likes of Ryan Tannehill and Panthers wide receiver Robby Anderson to name a few.

light. Related Story. 3 initial observations from Carolina Panthers QB Sam Darnold’s preseason debut

Darnold might have the weight of the world on his shoulders. But keeping his emotions in check and performing well would be a solid foundation from which to build heading into the regular season.