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Training Camp

Training Camp Buzz: Sam Darnold-Dan Arnold connection heating up at Panthers camp

The 2021 regular season is just around the corner, and NFL Network has you covered with wall-to-wall training camp coverage each day starting at 10 a.m. ET. Follow along here for some of the best sights, sounds and moments from "Inside Training Camp Live" and around the NFL.

  • Fans of football rhymes, rejoice: The Sam Darnold-Dan Arnold battery is fully charged at Panthers camp. While Carolina's top wideouts, D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson, expect to benefit this season from the addition of Darnold, it's another 2021 offseason addition in Arnold who could turn into the fourth-year's QB security blanket. NFL Network's Cameron Wolfe reported Sunday from Panthers camp that Darnold has been "turning it on" recently and the one connection to watch in particular to watch is with Arnold. "The other day, Sam Darnold threw a touchdown pass to tight end Dan Arnold," Wolfe explained, "and he yells, 'Darnold to Arnold, baby! Get used to seeing that.'" We'll take the QB at his word.
  • Speaking of Moore, Wolfe checked in with the standout wideout, who made some eye-opening remarks about people still sleeping on him after consecutive 1,000-yard seasons. "I always look at myself as a top-tier player in the league," Moore said. "So, numbers really don't matter, rankings don't matter to me. I just go out there and do what's best for the team. Having another 1,000 yards would be amazing so I'm gonna go strive for that." Moore then discussed Darnold, his fourth QB in as many seasons. "The first thing that stands out to me about Sam is his composure. Like, even if things get too hectic at practice, they make it hectic on him, he just stays calm, cool and collected like Sam is. So, over the time I've gotten to know him, he's just been the same person."
  • Wolfe also detailed an ongoing competition between two of the team's most important players. The competition, which was inspired by the steep hills players trek up after every practice in Spartanburg, is one that could pay off nicely for Carolina all season long. "Haason Reddick and Brian Burns have bet whoever gets the most sacks this year, they won't have to walk up these hills for training camp next year because they'll get a brand new golf cart," Wolfe reported. "Haason Reddick and Brian Burns have been working on their pass rush moves before practice, they want to motivate each other but the true motivation may be this prize."
  • Ben Roethlisberger didn't play in Thursday night's Hall of Fame Game -- he's more likely to be enshrined in Canton than ever play in such a preseason game again -- but that doesn't mean he hasn't been an active participant on Pittsburgh's sideline. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said Sunday that while Roethlisberger still possesses all the throwing abilities that have made him on this era's great quarterbacks, he's developing a new skill this summer: mentorship. "I acknowledge that he's probably seen more good days than he's gonna see. This guy's been doing it a while," Tomlin said on Sunday's edition of Inside Training Camp Live. "But based on what we've seen out here, I don't think any of us are questioning his capabilities from a quarterback perspective. The arm is the arm, man, in terms of strength and accuracy. He's doing a heck of a job. He's highly motivated. I think being around young guys that he knows that we're going to depend on is energizing him in a mentor's kind of a way. Just the amount of time that he's giving Najee (Harris) and Pat (Freiermuth) at the tight end position has been really impressive, and I think he's enjoying it."
  • In other Najee-related news, the charismatic back stopped by to chat with NFL Network's Scott Hanson and Maurice Jones-Drew about expectations at the pro level. Harris confidently expressed that he's not stressing over any of it. "I've been around this like literally my whole life so it's just nothing new," the former Alabama star said. "Maybe it's more cameras but I can't even say that, though. It's nothing new. I feel like people always say, like, 'Oh, you got so much pressure on you.' I'm like, man, it's not pressure, I see it as opportunity, you know what I mean? It's just all opportunity for me that other people might not have. I embrace all of it, man, I love the challenges that people give for me."
  • Jon Gruden had high praise for tight end Foster Moreau as Week 3 of Raiders camp gets going. The Raiders coach cited the third-year pro being healthy after injury-riddled first two season and his experience learning under Jason Witten as contributing factors to Moreau's improvement. "I'm not gonna be Foster's agent but I wish I was. I love him," Gruden said. "I just think he's perfect for how we want to play here. He can block in-line, he can pass protect, he's a football junkie. He's one of the greatest kids I've ever coached. … I think he and Waller give us a duo that is as good as any I've ever had."
  • Green Bay Packers rookie Amari Rodgers is looking to break into the starting lineup alongside Davante Adams, Allen Lazard and Marquez Valdes-Scantling in the receiving corps. But he'll likely also get some run right before the offense is supposed to come on the field. Special teams coach Maurice Drayton told reporters Sunday he likes Rodgers as his punt returner this season. Rodgers, a third-round rookie out of Clemson, returned 68 punts over his four years playing for the Tigers, recording 529 return yards. His one punt return TD came in his sophomore year, his best campaign as a punt returner.
  • Seattle Seahawks rookie receiver D'Wayne Eskridge has been out all camp with a toe injury, but the club hopes to have him back soon now that he's found the right apparel. NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported from Seahawks camp that Seattle feels it finally has him "in the right shoes." Pelissero added that Eskridge has run well and without pain the past couple of days.
  • All eyes are on Tua Tagovailoa in his second year with the Miami Dolphins. But on Sunday, those eyes witnessed Isaiah Ford corral a Tagovailoa pass in the back of the end zone for one of the most impressive catches of training camp so far.

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