Panthers’ Mayfield embracing QB competition with Darnold

Posted: 13/07/2022 in NFL
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New Carolina Panthers quarterback Baker Mayfield said he’s embracing the battle against Sam Darnold for the starting job.

“Nobody has the mentality of being a backup,” Mayfield said during his introductory press conference Tuesday. “We’re at this level because we compete to be the very best. That’s why Sam’s here as well. That’s why Matt Corral just got drafted and P.J. Walker has competed and fought through a lot of adversity.”

He added: “The team is very close to being really, really good. We just have to put the pieces together and come together as a team. … I’m gonna do my job and fill whatever role is to be expected from me.”

His remarks come after Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer said he expects his team to have an open competition at quarterback, according to ESPN’s Field Yates.

Carolina landed Mayfield earlier in July in a trade from the Cleveland Browns for a conditional fifth-round selection in 2024. The 2018 first overall pick spent his first four NFL seasons in Cleveland, helping the team reach the divisional round in 2020. However, Mayfield struggled while battling injuries last year as the Browns posted a disappointing season.

The Browns traded for former Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson in March to set in motion an offseason that Mayfield said left him “shocked,” per CBS Sports.

“But you roll with the punches and you’ve got to move forward,” he added.

Mayfield is now trying to fix his game to help him return to his best days under center. The 27-year-old said Tuesday he’s made “some small changes” to his “violent” throwing motion after undergoing shoulder surgery this year, according to Sheena Quick of FOX Sports Radio.

He also wants to have more freedom on the field.

“For me, freedom of making sure what I’m seeing at the line of scrimmage and putting ourselves in the best position possible,” he said when asked about what he wants to reclaim from his solid 2020 season, per Chris Easterling of the Akron Beacon Journal.

If Mayfield beats out Darnold for the starting job, his first official game will be the Panthers’ season opener at home against the Browns.

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