Panthers see “bigger leap” from Curtis Samuel this year

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The first two seasons of wide receiver Curtis Samuel‘s career have featured flashes of the talent that led the Panthers to make him a second-round pick, but it hasn’t come through consistently enough for Samuel to make the kind of impact the team hoped to see.

Samuel’s work this offseason has people around the team believing that will come this year. Wide receiver Torrey Smith said Samuel has had “the most growth out of any player I’ve ever seen” while wide receiver Chris Hogan called his new teammate a special player who has “primed himself to have a good season.”

Running back Christian McCaffrey called Samuel’s speed “rare,” offensive coordinator Norv Turner complimented his route running and head coach Ron Rivera said the wideout has “taken an even bigger leap” than he did between his first two seasons. Samuel shares the confidence in his abilities, but also knows availability will determine how much all of the compliments matter.

“As long as I’m out there, I’m going to make things happen,” Samuel said, via David Newton of ESPN.com. “The main thing with me is about staying healthy. If I can do that, best believe something is going to happen.”

Samuel has missed 10 games over his first two seasons and the missed time affected his overall conditioning, which meant more time off the field for a player expected to contribute. Samuel will get a third chance to fulfill those expectations and hitting them would brighten the outlook for the Panthers in 2019.

5 responses to “Panthers see “bigger leap” from Curtis Samuel this year

  1. From the camp videos I’ve seen the man can flat out fly and his chemistry with Cam is very tight. New LTs more than solid RT, new talent on the DLine, emerging talent at WR and TE, CMC; as long as Cam’s right shoulder holds out for 16 games (if not 18-19 a man can dream) this could a great year.

  2. You’d be hard-pressed to argue otherwise, given his impressive seven touchdowns on a mere 47 touches last year. If he can stay healthy, his potential is pure insanity.

  3. Talented but oft injured. Sooner or later not being able to stay healthy and contribute and sitting on the pine is going to effect his career with the Panthers. Its put up or shut up time for Samuel.

  4. If the Panthers could find a way to utilize Samuel in the backfield, in cohesion with McCaffery (similar to how Samuel was used at Ohio State), they could open up a bevy of options. They already have a set of Full House and triple option style plays that Cam Newton has run throughout his career, and two or even three back sets that they’ve used in the past (featuring DeAngelo Williams, Johnathon Stewart, and Mike Tolbert). Of course, those backs were much larger and more power runners than McCaffrey and Samuel, but Cam’s running ability and Samuel and McCaffrey’s recieving abilities would such an offense very difficult to defend. It would help reduce Newton straining his shoulder on downfield throws, if his arm is still affected from his injury, and would put a lot of pressure on opposing linebackers.

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