All eyes will be on Sam Darnold in his debut with the Carolina Panthers as he’s set to take on the New York Jets and star rookie Zach Wilson in Week 1 – but the quarterback doesn’t seem too concerned about facing his former team.
Darnold told reporters during a press conference last week that he plans to play as he would with any other team.
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“I think it’s a really good opportunity – a good opportunity for this team to go out and prove ourselves against a good opponent,” he said. “For me as a competitor, I’m going to go out there and compete no matter who the opponent is, so that’s kind of my mindset on it.”
Darnold will take on the Jets at the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte on Sept. 12 after being traded in the offseason.
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He was drafted by the Jets with the No. 3 overall pick in 2018. In 12 games last season, Darnold threw for 2,208 yards with nine touchdowns and 11 interceptions, and he had the NFL’s lowest passer rating. The Jets finished with a 2-14 record.
He left the Jets with a 13-25 overall record, 8,097 passing yards, 45 touchdowns, and 39 interceptions.
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“The transition has been great,” Darnold said of OTAs which began last week. “I’ve just been trying to get a feel for the offense in terms of progressions and just seeing the field, and where I’m going to go with the ball in certain coverages. Really, the base install is down so I’m going to continue to work with it and continue to progress.”