Christian McCaffrey: You can just tell Sam Darnold is dialed in

Carolina Panthers Mandatory Minicamp
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The Panthers’ search for a franchise quarterback moved from Teddy Bridgewater to Sam Darnold this offseason.

As Carolina’s offseason program wraps up, star running back Christian McCaffrey is encouraged by what he’s seen from the third pick in the 2018 draft.

“I think I’ve seen him grow in a lot of ways,” McCaffrey said this week, via David Newton of ESPN. “He’s a guy that approaches each day the exact same and continues to strive to get better. But when you make a statement Day One like Sam did, I think it’s tough — you just expect that from here on out. So somebody like him, every single day, he comes always trying to get better. As a leader, he’ll text guys late at night, asking about plays, giving us what he sees on certain plays. And you can just tell he’s dialed in.

“So every day, every throw, as a leader, as a player, just kind of developing in the offense and learning the playbook and getting everything down, he’s just been very consistent. SoI think when you stack a bunch of consistent days on top of each other, that will ultimately create a lot of growth. And that’s what he’s done.”

The Panthers have several offensive weapons to aid Darnold, like McCaffrey, Robby Anderson, and D.J. Moore. After three years with the Jets, Darnold has a chance to succeed in Carolina. But if he doesn’t perform well in 2021, the Panthers’ quest to find a long-term solution at QB will continue.