An increased belief within the Carolina Panthers locker room
Sam Darnold had a solid camp and deserves credit for the way he conducted himself in the face of adversity this offseason. But there was just something different about Baker Mayfield from the moment he joined the Carolina Panthers.
It took Mayfield a week or so to shake off the rust. After that, he was nothing short of outstanding in practice and during his time on the field in the preseason.
More importantly, the former Oklahoma standout won over the locker room. Installing further belief in his capabilities to lead this team back to prominence next season.
The likes of D.J. Moore, Christian McCaffrey, and Bradley Bozeman were all highly complimentary of Mayfield for the way he’s approached his second chance. Perhaps more telling were the comments made by Robbie Anderson, who was critical of the trade before his arrival and has changed his tune greatly after watching the Heisman Trophy winner in the flesh.
"“He’s smart. He’s picked up the offense, like, rapidly. I like his energy a lot. I like that a lot about him. Like his leadership. And his confidence.”"
This was always going to be half the battle for Mayfield. Especially considering the talk of childish, immature behavior behind the scenes in Cleveland.
Everyone is now fully on board with Mayfield. And even the most skeptical fan can now look forward to the campaign with some cautious optimism.