4 ways Panthers QB Baker Mayfield can make his old team pay in Week 1

(Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images) Baker Mayfield
(Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images) Baker Mayfield /
2 of 4
Carolina Panthers
(David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports) Baker Mayfield /

Carolina Panthers QB Baker Mayfield must keep a cool head

Focusing more on football and not the outside noise that’s followed Baker Mayfield around for his entire career has been noticeable this offseason. A nice change of pace for the quarterback after a humbling experience regarding his future in recent months.

Mayfield is keeping a level head this week despite the increased attention coming his way. While the signal-caller is keen not to feed media members many straight lines, the circus caused by analytics expert Cynthia Frelund fanned the flames regardless of whether the player said he was “going to f–k” the Cleveland Browns up or not.

This approach has done down well within the Carolina Panthers since Mayfield’s arrival. Players and coaches have gushed about the player’s work ethic, leadership, and attitude under a glaring spotlight throughout the preparation period, which is a far cry from the childish, immature perception painted by anonymous sources within the Browns.

There will be more nerves and adrenaline going up against the team that cast him aside in Week 1. Mayfield is a passionate character who was stung by the suspect treatment received following their acquisition of Deshaun Watson, so it’s not hard to see why this particular contest means a whole lot.

How Mayfield keeps his emotions below the surface and harnesses this energy is a key element of a complex equation. Something we just don’t know either way right now.