4 major observations from Baker Mayfield’s preseason debut

(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) Baker Mayfield
(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) Baker Mayfield /
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What were some major observations from Carolina Panthers quarterback Baker Mayfield’s first preseason outing at the Washington Commanders?

After an offseason full of drama, Baker Mayfield finally took to the field for his first taste of life under center with the Carolina Panthers. The quarterback remains in “competition” with Sam Darnold for the No. 1 job, with head coach Matt Rhule giving both the chance to shine at the Washington Commanders on Saturday afternoon.

Although many expect Mayfield to be the team’s starter in Week 1 against the Cleveland Browns following an impressive training camp, seeing what the signal-caller could bring in a typical gameday setting was also important. Former Panthers head coach Ron Rivera wasn’t going to do his old employers any favors, which made for a fascinating battle to open Carolina’s warmup fixtures.

There is a growing sense of excitement surrounding Mayfield, who’s integrated superbly after his trade shortly before camp, establishing himself within the locker room and adapting to Ben McAdoo’s system well given the short timeframe.

Even though it was a small sample size, here are some major observations from Mayfield’s preseason debut.

Major Observation No. 1

Baker Mayfield
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Baker Mayfield /

Baker Mayfield was Carolina Panthers QB1

There was a real tell from the Carolina Panthers regarding Baker Mayfield’s status after his quarterback competition with Sam Darnold throughout camp. The coaching staff named him as their starter for the game at Washington, which was a sign that this is now his job to lose.

Nobody really expected anything else considering how well Mayfield performed in camp. But it was still up in the air given Matt Rhule’s insistence that Darnold was still in the running.

Whether this changes much over the next few weeks in terms of reps is still undetermined. However, it was a positive step for the Oklahoma product nonetheless.