Baker Mayfield vs Sam Darnold: Is Carolina Panthers’ QB Job Starting to Lose Mayfield? – Carolina Panthers Blog

Spartanburg, SC — Wide Receiver rashard higgins holding her 11-month-old son tightly to the back of a golf cart while discussing “open” competition between baker mayfield And Sam Darnold For the Carolina Panthers’ starting quarterback job.

He joked that the young Sevin got his name – with a change in spelling – because seven follows six, the same number of Mayfield, his teammate and friend, in Cleveland over the past four seasons.

In other words, if anyone has reason to pull for Mayfield, it’s Higgins.

But when asked who he believes will open Week 1 against the Cleveland Browns, the player nicknamed “Hollywood” did not provide clarity.

“Whoever makes this decision will be good, so we’ll see,” he said with a smile.

That’s the company line.

Whether it’s Mayfield, which was acquired last month in a trade with the Browns, or Darnold, which was acquired last year in a trade with the New York Jets, the Panthers believe the 2018 draft’s No. And there will be competition between number 3. make them better.

Whether you believe the competition is truly “open” or that it is Mayfield’s job to lose – as many around the league believe – doesn’t matter, especially for third-year coach Matt Roulette, whose future may depend on the result.

He says almost daily that it is not a one day competition and it will take time to decide.

“I’ve been on record with what I think,” said Roulette, who opened the training camp by saying that performance will decide the outcome. “I just need to worry about people, and hope that the way we’re doing it, they feel good.”

It seems, and so far, neither of them has done well enough to distance themselves from the other.

“Everything is extremely transparent,” Mayfield said. “They’re telling us together how they’re handling it. It’s not being said to one person and Sam is listening to other things. It’s in front of us, clear and concise.”

Precision Competition Scheme

If you’ve followed the first week of camp you know the routine. Darnold works with the first team on one day while Mayfield works with the second. The next day, they flip-flopped. Thereafter, he spent time with the starters. That’s about 50-50 as much as you can get.

As Roulette explained to his quarterback, “We can’t always be fair, but we must be just.”

Fans already have a favorite. Before the first practice, when Mayfield and Darnold Wofford walked the college grounds together, strong spells favored Mayfield.

Since then, they have come apart, but Mayfield still gets more chants, and louder ones.

For now, neither seems concerned. Each is focused on gaining a better understanding of offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s system and fixing the flaws that have him competing for a job rather than owning one.

Roulette likes what it has seen, especially from Mayfield after only two weeks in the system.

“We test people every day,” he said. “Her tests go back in the hundreds. She’s a professional pro.”

The missing link to be a contender?

The last time the Panthers auditioned like this was in 2003, when longtime backup Jake Delhomme was brought in to compete with veteran Rodney Peet. Pete opened the opener, but Delholm took over in the second half and led the team to the Super Bowl.

New Panthers Guard Austin Corbett Understands what it means to consolidate the quarterback position, having won the Super Bowl last season after being traded to the Los Angeles Rams Matthew Stafford, He also knows Mayfield’s potential, as he played with the quarterback at Cleveland for his first season and half as a pro.

Corbett believes that whatever emerges between Mayfield and Darnold has the potential to make Carolina a contender.

“Their level of competition is going to push each other to the next level of performance,” he said.

While not playing the favourite, Corbett said the energy that Mayfield brings is “really unmatched.”

“A true love of competition that he puts into everything,” he said. “He beats himself over small mistakes.”

Darnold, Corbett said, is more laid-back. He rarely seems upset.

“But they are still getting along, helping each other and getting along just fine,” he said. “They both want this team to be the most successful.”

The key to starting Red Zone success?

Winning is what Roulette wants more than anything after its first two seasons going 5-11 and 5-12. Inconsistent quarterback play (with 2020 teddy bridgewater and last season with Darnold and Cam Newton) is a big reason he hasn’t won.

Much of that discrepancy has been in the red zone, as only 42% of their red zone plays have passed under roulette in two seasons, which ranks 31st in the NFL. Mayfield created the first separation in the fight on Monday when he threw three touchdown passes to Darnold inside 20.

Mayfield continued to impress Tuesday with his willingness to take shots downfield, something Darnold hasn’t done well as a pro (his 27% completion rate at least 20 yards downfield ranks in the NFL over the past four seasons; Mayfield is ranked 18th. 42%). Mayfield’s 50-yard run Robbie Anderson Teammates and fans applauded.

That Mayfield lead the Browns to an 11-5 record and a playoff win in 2020 gives them even more credibility. Darnold has gone 6-17 over the past two seasons and is a 17-32 starter overall.

But so far in camp, roulette has treated both quarterbacks like 0-0, and they’ve been helping each other in meetings and on the field.

“Obviously, we both want to be the starting quarterbacks for this team,” Darnold said. “It’s obvious. But at the end of the day it’s not me or Baker making that decision.

“That way it makes it easier for us to root for each other.”

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