Sam Darnold must recognize pressure and react correctly
Considering the questions surrounding the Carolina Panthers offensive line heading into the season, it’s highly likely Sam Darnold will be under duress often.
The starting unit didn’t exactly leave cause for optimism against an under-strength defensive front of the Pittsburgh Steelers in preseason Week 3. So it remains to be seen whether everything can come together in the face of prominent opposition.
Darnold’s inability to recognize pressure was there for all to see at MetLife Stadium. More importantly, the quarterback did not react accordingly when it came his way.
This played a leading role in Darnold’s eventual demise in New York. Quarterback coach Sean Ryan has been working tirelessly on improving the player’s footwork this offseason – something that will hopefully come with more elusiveness inside the pocket before making the right decisions.
One expected the Jets to bring some big-time heat Darnold’s way in Week 1. Not only because of the suspect protection in front of him but their own experiences of what could emerge.
Getting the football out quickly is absolutely paramount. Carolina will rely heavily on Christian McCaffrey and the running game, but Darnold needs to make the correct reads consistently whether pressure arrives or not.