Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Matt Rhule says Sam Darnold-Baker Mayfield QB competition will come down to performance on field

The Carolina Panthers now have Sam Darnold and Baker Mayfield in the quarterback room and there is no certainty surrounding the team’s future at the position. There is not even a sure bet that the team will not try each QB at some point during the regular season.

While Mayfield has seemed like the choice as starter since he was traded to the Panthers from the Cleveland Browns, the team has made it clear that he has to earn the role.

Head coach Matt Rhule said he will not be choosing the starter, the players will do that with how they perform.

“To me, my job is not to pick the starting quarterback. The players will do that with the way they play,” Rhule said the (via NFL.com). “My job is to make sure that we have really good players in the room, which we do, and make sure that they have opportunities. So it’ll be a fun ride and when we know we’ll know.”

The Panthers have yet to find their long-term guy at quarterback and have struggled to put together a decent season as of late.

Last year, they went 5-12 and were last in their division, but Rhule expects things to change this year.

“This year, I expect to win. I want to win. I’ve never had, going into the season saying ‘Oh I want to win this many games and keep my job.’ I’m not doing that, man,” Rhule said. “I want to win at the highest level, just like (running back) Christian (McCaffrey) does, just like (linebacker) Shaq (Thompson) does, just like everybody in this organization does, and that’s why I woke up today ready to go, excited to go, excited to be here, and I like where we’re at.”

Mayfield does not come with a guarantee, but he did have some success in Cleveland, winning a playoff game against division rival Pittsburgh Steelers. There was lots of drama in Cleveland with the arrival of Deshaun Watson, which sealed Mayfield’s exit following an injury-plagued, eight-win season.

There are many questions heading into the Panthers’ 2022 season, and even Rhule does not know exactly how it will all play out.

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