4 major observations from Baker Mayfield’s fifth Panthers practice
By Dean Jones
What were some major observations to take from Carolina Panthers quarterback Baker Mayfield’s fifth practice in training camp and the first with pads on?
After a bedding-in period for the Carolina Panthers and Baker Mayfield over the first week of camp, Monday’s session saw increased intensity as the pads came on for the first time. This is normally the point where focus increases and players begin to impose themselves on the rest, which is exactly what’s expected of the quarterback following his high-profile trade from the Cleveland Browns.
There’s been good and bad where Mayfield is concerned over the opening few practices. Not entirely unexpected considering how late he joined the Panthers and the lack of throwing activity due to offseason surgery on his non-throwing shoulder.
Carolina is expecting big things from Mayfield in 2022. While Matt Corral remains an intriguing long-term option, head coach Matt Rhule needs to generate serious momentum after things haven’t gone according to plan over his first two years in the role and the trade represents a better option for the immediate future.
With that being said, here are four major observations from Mayfield’s first padded practice with the Panthers in training camp.
Major Observation No. 1
Carolina Panthers saw more swagger from Baker Mayfield
Perhaps it was donning the pads that changed something within Baker Mayfield on Monday. There was an extra swagger to his overall demeanor that didn’t go unnoticed and the quarterback also spoke about trash-talking Shaq Thompson and Donte Jackson during his media availability after the session.
"“You don’t target the weak ones, you go for the head.”"
This mentality is exactly why the Carolina Panthers brought Mayfield to the franchise. To provide them with a cutting edge that was seriously lacking with Sam Darnold under center.
It’ll be interesting to see how Mayfield evolves further in the coming weeks. But there was a noticeable shift at the start of Week 2.