“Fluid” is definitely a word that can be used to describe how the Carolina Panthers went about their business under center in 2021. You all remember the highly-acclaimed multi-quarterback system head coach Matt Rhule devised for the second half of last season, don’t you?
Well, former NFL head coach and current NFL Network analyst Steve Mariucci thinks those “good times” will keep on rolling into 2022. While getting a peek at Panthers training camp earlier this week, Mariucci said that he believes Carolina’s quarterback situation will be an unstable one.
“And then, Matt Rhule said something interesting, too,” he stated. “‘We are keeping three quarterbacks.’ Well, they have to because they drafted Matt Corral in the third round, right? From Ole Miss. They gotta keep that guy. And a lot of teams don’t keep three quarterbacks on the active roster anymore. They keep one on the practice squad, right?
“So, anyway, this is a real, true quarterback battle,” Mariucci then said of the competition between Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold. “It’s gonna be interesting. Stay tuned because I think it’s gonna be fluid all season.”
Given the fluctuating state of the franchise since owner David Tepper purchased it back in 2018, “fluid” probably isn’t a word anyone wants to hear—especially at this position. Since the injury-plagued tail end of Cam Newton’s first Panthers tenure that very season, the team has started seven different passers—Kyle Allen, Taylor Heinicke, Will Grier, Teddy Bridgewater, PJ Walker, Sam Darnold and Newton (again).
That mark is very likely to hit eight, as Mayfield has continued to establish himself as the favorite in this ongoing battle. Can the former No. 1 overall pick, however, prevent that number from getting to nine before season’s end?
As “Mooch” said, stay tuned.