No ‘major decision’ on Carolina Panthers QBs Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold before second preseason game, coach says
Spartanburg, SC — The Carolina Panthers have no choice in any situation, especially quarterbacks Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold, until a “major decision” by coach Matt Rule after a pregame -season in New England on August 19. Will not be done.
Nevertheless, if one is not clearly separated from the other after two joint exercises in Foxborough, Massachusetts and the game, the roulette cannot be decided.
“I’m not going to put a timeline on the quarterback position until we come back from the Patriots on Saturday,” Rowell said after Saturday’s scrimmage. “Patriot Week is a real test for us. It will really show us where the people are.”
Meanwhile, the Panthers lost longtime defensive end Marquis Haynes to a left knee injury while working with the first team. Carolina was already thin in position and scored a run on veteran Carlos Dunlop, who signed with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Jason Pierre-Paul, 33, is the most notable Edge Rusher free agent available. He had 9.5 sacks for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020 but fell to 2.5 last season.
In terms of quarterbacks, Mayfield began working with the first team in red-zone drills and was 1-for-3 on a drive that ended with a Chuba Hubbard touchdown. Darnold, working with the other team, threw a touchdown pass to fullback Giovanni Ricci in his first practice game in the red zone.
The two had equal representation with the first and second teams during the two-hour practice focused on playing conditions. Mayfield went 14 for 21 with a long touchdown pass and an interception. Darnold was 28 of 20 with touchdowns and interceptions.
Both interceptions were with the quarterback trying to force the ball into tight coverage. Cornerback Miles Hartsfield snatches the ball from DJ Moore on a pass from Mayfield that was thrown slightly behind the receiver.
Rowell said “the penalty put Baker behind in chains so he had to put the ball back on the field.”
Darnold was picked up near the edge by recently acquired cornerback Tai Hayes as he attempted to force a pass to his right.
Rowell said it’s hard to make quick decisions about a quarterback’s performance because of the disparity between “who you play with and who you play against.”
“What’s disappointing is every guy is an interception,” Rowell said. “We have to protect football.”
Rowell was also disappointed that wide receiver Rashard Higgins hit the ball across the goal line instead of running into the end zone after a reception from Mayfield. Higgins also performed his patenting ceremony in which he rolls a soccer ball like a red carpet and then walks on an imaginary carpet.
After that, the coach performed the incident.
“We’re not a team that takes the ball over the goal line,” Rowell said. “I told people when you score a touchdown, when you celebrate, when you have fun, it’s not a real game, but we play it like a game. [celebrate] Between the white lines.”
Overall, Rowell said there’s a lot to like about Mayfield and Darnold in terms of explosive plays and long drives. With the players off on Sunday, Rowell said the staff would “really dig into the tapes to see who’s really got the offense down and who’s not.”