CHARLOTTE – Wide receivers Curtis Samuel and DJ Moore came into 2019 with understandably high expectations.
Both have had their moments, but their production has fluctuated week to week. That's led to some criticism from those wanting to see more.
"Everyone wants to analyze every specific guy, and sometimes their development, their production depends on a lot of other factors," offensive coordinator Norv Turner said. "I like what they're doing. We're way ahead of where we've been. Sometimes there are limited opportunities, but that has nothing to do with them, that has to do with how we're playing. They are young guys that really didn't have a route-running system or style coming out of college. They are making great strides."
Samuel, a second-round pick in 2017, has 27 catches on 54 targets for 343 yards and two touchdowns. Moore, a first-round pick in 2018, has 38 catches on 58 targets for 463 yards and one touchdown.
"The way things are in this world, when things are going good everyone is so excited saying, 'Oh my God, y'all are so good!' You lose one game and everyone switches," Samuel said. "That's the way it is. We just have to focus on ourselves."
Here's how Samuel responded when asked how he'd evaluate his season so far.
"I feel like the season is going the way I want. Everybody has some plays they probably wish they had back," Samuel said. "That happens. It's just about continuing to get better each and every time. I'm out there trying to help my team."
Head coach Ron Rivera believes Samuel and Moore are gradually coming along as the Panthers hoped they would.
"I think they're young guys that are developing and growing. They're second and third-year players that are learning their skillsets," Rivera said. "For Curtis, just like DJ, it's their second year in this new system. They're learning how to do things, and that's what's going to happen with young guys. You get guys that have to take steps, develop and continue to grow."