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Panthers’ Robby Anderson says Sam Darnold has a ‘new energy’ that he didn’t see when they were on the Jets

Raj Mehta / USA TODAY Sports

Last year, Carolina Panthers wide receiver Robby Anderson had a breakout season. Playing in Matt Rhule and Joe Brady’s offense with Teddy Bridgewater under center, Anderson was targeted a career-high 136 times, and he turned those 136 targets into a career-high 90 catches (giving him a career-high 69.9 percent catch rate) for a career-high 1,096 yards. 

This year, Anderson is hoping a move to Carolina can do the same for his former New York Jets teammate Sam Darnold, who was traded from the Jets to the Panthers earlier this offseason. At minicamp this week, Anderson said that he sees a different player in Darnold than the one he saw during their previous stint together, when they played for the Jets in 2018 and 2019.

“I saw like a new energy out of him, a glowing charisma that I didn’t really see in New York,” Anderson said, per the Associated Press. “You know when a person, you can see a glow in them, their energy, an aura — I can see that when I walked into the building and just being around him.”

Many people in and around the NFL know this energy and charisma and glow and aura very well. It’s called the “I don’t play for Adam Gase anymore bump,” which has seemingly helped players like Ryan Tannehill, Kenyan Drake, and DeVante Parker in the past. And that’s not just me saying it. Anderson seems to think getting out of New York and the system they played in there was helpful for him and will be for Darnold as well. 

“The New York system was a little more complex and had a lot of nuances and things like that that was more difficult for everybody, not just him or me,” Anderson said. “I think this system is a little more graspable.”

The Panthers have made a bet that he’s right.