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Ben McAdoo: Sam Darnold does have some magic in his game

Mike Florio and Chris Simms discuss what aspects the Buccaneers, Saints, Falcons and Panthers can’t leave the 2022 NFL Draft without assessing.

During a press conference on Tuesday, Panthers offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo was asked if Sam Darnold is the team’s starting quarterback and he answered in the affirmative before returning to the topic a short time later.

McAdoo said “that is something I shouldn’t have said” at this point in the calendar, but it’s the honest answer at a moment when there are only two quarterbacks on the roster in Carolina and P.J. Walker is the other one. That could change in the draft next week or via a trade at any point in the coming days, but McAdoo didn’t feel a need to walk back other positive things he said about the quarterback.

“Sam was one of the people that intrigued me for the job. Sam does have some magic in his game,” McAdoo said, via David Newton of

Darnold’s spells have not captivated too many other observers over his first four seasons and the availability of other options at quarterback may still lead to him to trade in his helmet for a wizard’s hat on the sideline this fall.