Matt Rowley – QB fight between Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold will result in NFL victories for the Carolina Panthers

Charlotte, North Carolina – Carolina Panthers coach Matt Rolle doesn’t know if his starting quarterback is recently acquired Baker Mayfield or returning player Sam Darnold, but he believes the competition will give the team the best chance of success since his arrival in 2020.

“My job is not to pick a quarterback,” Roll said Monday, the first time he’s spoken publicly since Carolina acquired Mayfield in a deal with Cleveland earlier this month. Players will do it the way they play.

“My job is to make sure we have really good players in the room, which we are doing right now, and to make sure they get chances. It will be an interesting journey. When we know, we will know.”

The trip begins on Tuesday, when the Panthers go to training camp at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina. It will be Rhule’s third camp in the NFL after consecutive seasons of five wins to begin his NFL coaching career.

The nationwide perception is that the Panthers need to show a marked improvement for Rhule to keep his job beyond this season. Rhule’s focus is on building a winning team, and he understands that a capable midfielder is key to that.

He said, “This year, I expect to win. I’ve never been in a season and said, ‘Well, I hope to win many games and keep my job.’ I want to win at the highest level.”

Rhule believes the competition between Mayfield and Darnold gives him that opportunity no matter who wins the job. With these two, along with third-round pick Matt Corral and former XFL star PJ Walker, he can’t imagine many teams having room deeper in the middle.

“It’s going to be a very, very big competition,” Rule said. “And to be honest, it’s going to be really good for our team, the competition.”

That competition kicked off over the weekend as Mayfield and Darnold trained with Christian McCaffrey and his teammates returning on their own in the Charlotte area. Rolle said Darnold was part of that competition, talking about how he handled the addition of Mayfield.

“When we told him we were making this move, he treated it like the best player on the team, the absolute professional,” said Rolle. “He pretty much took it like, ‘Hey, I’m going to control what I can control, and that’s how I play.'” I look forward to seeing him play great football during this camp.”

The Panthers haven’t played a great quarterback since the middle of the 2018 season, when Cam Newton was the starting line-up. Since Rhule was signed in January 2020, they’ve had seven different players start at least one match.

Darnold was 4-7 early last season, leading the team to go after former Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson during an offseason. The Cleveland Browns won that fight, making Mayfield an expendable.

Brown followed Watson after Mayfield struggled with a 6-8 record last season after hitting 11-5 in 2020.

So both midfielders, Mayfield (2018 draft pick) and Darnold (third), came to camp with something to prove.

Darnold’s advantage is that he had a complete leave of absence in the system being implemented by new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo. Mayfield’s advantage is that he showed in 2020 with Brown that he has what it takes to get a team to the playoffs.

“There is no doubt that he has to get here and he has to learn the offense and he has to go from level 1 knowing the offense to level 4 in mastery where you are subconsciously confident,” Roll said of Mayfield. a trip.”

Rhule won’t reveal how he splits repetitions between the two in camp until he sits down with all of his quarterbacks on Tuesday. However, he expects the mode to be “flexible” based on performance.

The goal, Rolle said, is to create an “identity” for attack that the team hasn’t had for the past two years in large part due to inconsistent play in the middle.

“I think we have a really talented team. Because we have talent, we can really focus on performance and results,” said Rolle after an unexpected period of rebuilding the roster and staff.

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