May 27, 2022

Panthers OC Ben McAdoo walks back naming Sam Darnold starting QB

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Carolina Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer raised eyebrows when he said in late March “we do need a quarterback” even though 2018 first-round draft pick Sam Darnold is currently atop the depth chart. 

The Panthers hired former New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo as their new offensive coordinator in January, and McAdoo offered some high praise for Darnold when he remarked on Tuesday that “Sam does have some magic in his game.” However, McAdoo also apparently got a little ahead of himself when, per Nick Shook of the NFL’s website, he named Darnold as the team’s starting signal-caller.

“One of the things I’ve been working on is being better talking to you people [media], so announcing the starting quarterback here I just put my foot in my mouth,” McAdoo explained. “That wasn’t something I should have said.”

While the Panthers also have former XFL star P.J. Walker on the roster, they are expected to add another quarterback to the squad either during or after the draft that begins on April 28. Carolina was recently linked with former Cleveland Browns starter Baker Mayfield in a trade rumor, but David Newton of ESPN notes that such a transaction wouldn’t occur until after the draft.

Meanwhile, Chris Trapasso, Josh Edwards and Kyle Stackpole of CBS Sports have all predicted in their latest mock drafts that the Panthers will select former Pittsburgh Panthers quarterback Kenny Pickett sixth overall later this month. CBS’ Pete Prisco has Carolina using that asset to land Malik Willis of the Liberty Flames.



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