5 major observations from Sam Darnold’s second preseason game

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

What were some of the big observations from Sam Darnold’s first prolonged action for the Carolina Panthers in their preseason finale?

It was a big night for Carolina Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold as he took the field for his first taste of meaningful game-day reps since his trade from the New York Jets. The quarterback was looking to hit the ground running against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Bank of America Stadium – the final preseason game before preparations officially begin for Week 1.

To say Darnold has a lot on the line in 2021 would be something of an understatement. The Panthers gambled on the former first-round pick finally living up to his potential following a torrid three years at Met Life Stadium, so failure to produce will almost certainly force the organization into another signal-caller switch next spring.

This all comes down to confidence for Darnold. The better keyed-in the USC product is right from the outset, the better both his and the Panthers’ chances will be of surprising people in 2021.

With this in mind, here are five major observations from Darnold’s second preseason game in Carolina.

Observation No. 1

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

Sam Darnold was composed overall

Although it was just a preseason game, Darnold had the microscope on him not only regarding his production on the field, but also his composure and mannerisms in-between plays and on the sidelines.

He is never going to be a vocal, flamboyant leader such as Cam Newton. Darnold is just not wired that way.

Everyone has their own approach, which is fine. But despite the expectations surrounding the player, he held things together well in the face of greater challenges to come.