Christian McCaffrey Details First Impressions of Sam Darnold

The Panthers' star running back thinks highly of his new quarterback.
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Since Christian McCaffrey was drafted in the 2017 NFL Draft, the Panthers have rolled out six different starters at the quarterback position. Kyle Allen and Taylor Heinicke filled in for Cam Newton when he was injured, Will Grier got his opportunity late in the 2019 season, and Teddy Bridgewater and P.J. Walker both started games this past season. 

In the next couple of months, McCaffrey will be working with his 7th quarterback during his time in Carolina and the hope is that Sam Darnold will be the guy for years to come. 

The Panthers began OTAs last week which marks the first time that Darnold has been able to run through some plays with the offense and get a feel for his receivers, running backs, and offensive linemen. Last week, one of Darnold's many weapons, Christian McCaffrey, met with the media to answer questions and offered his thoughts on the Panthers' new quarterback. 

"He's very sharp and I think that's something that's very exciting early. Obviously, he's very talented and he throws a great ball but his decision-making has been very good, he's smart, he knows where to go with the ball. He's confident, he demands the huddle. I love how everyone is responding to his urgency."

McCaffrey is viewed as one of the leaders on the team and despite being one of the youngest, he is one of the longest-tenured Panthers. He talked about the importance of having several guys that can lead and mentioned Darnold as someone who can and who will.

'You can never have enough especially when you have a guy like that [Darnold] who is such a good guy off the field. All he wants to do is win and that just shows how he approaches the game, how he carries himself. Everything goes through him and I'm really excited about it."

Since entering the league, McCaffrey has made trips back to the state of California to work out in the offseason and he noted that there's been a few times that he was able to work with Darnold.

"Sam and I go way back to playing against him when I was at Stanford and he was at USC. I just remember our defense always talking about how good he was in college. Every time I go to California, there's always a good group of guys who go out there and throw, so I've had the opportunity to go out there and throw with him a few times. He's such an easy guy to be around. He's so laid back. He's such a good person and such a good player too. When he's out there throwing he's calm, he's collected but he has a great sense of urgency to him as well and it shows on the field. 

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