5 major observations from Panthers QB Sam Darnold’s 2021 offseason

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

Sam Darnold has developed chemistry quickly

One noticeable factor behind Sam Darnold this offseason is how well he’s developed chemistry with a loaded passing attack. Such talented weapons around the quarterback are something he simply didn’t experience on the New York Jets, so we should see once and for all what the player is capable of in 2021.

Much will also depend on whether the offensive line can hold up their end of the bargain.

This is arguably the biggest concern outside of Darnold himself. It’s also worrying that these are linked so heavily in terms of production.

That being said, it’s hard to envisage a situation where Darnold doesn’t make some additional strides. He’s got Christian McCaffrey alongside him in the backfield, two 1,000-yard receivers in Robby Anderson and D.J. Moore, as well as a better pass-catching tight end option in Dan Arnold.

Not to mention two rookie wideouts with potential in Shi Smith and Terrace Marshall Jr.

Darnold has developed some eye-catching timing with these individuals both at training camp and during his time on the field in preseason games. His connection with Arnold is something to monitor closely when the real action starts and something that could provide the signal-caller with a nice security blanket when things aren’t developing as expected.

Again, this needs to transition into the regular season. But the early signs are encouraging.