Earlier in the offseason, Carolina Panthers wide receiver Robbie Anderson had an unflattering response when it was reported that the team was a potential landing spot for the then Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield. He didn’t want Mayfield on the team, which could have certainly created some awkwardness following the Panthers’ eventual acquisition of the former No. 1 overall pick.
Anderson has since shrugged off the comments, saying it was intended to show support for Sam Darnold, who at the time was still slated to be the starter. Now the 2018 NFL Draft classmates are facing off to see who can earn the starting nod in Week 1.
Since taking the field with Mayfield, Anderson’s tone has changed completely. Anderson was complimentary of his approach and how fast he has picked things up despite being with the organization for only about six weeks.
“He’s smart,” Anderson said, via Anthony Rizzuti of USAToday.com. “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.”
Confidence is certainly something that Mayfield does not lack. While he is not the biggest or most athletic player on the field, he is never going to back down and will always give 100 percent.
Building a rapport with Anderson is certainly important as he is a big part of the team’s passing offense along with fellow wide receiver D.J. Moore and running back Christian McCaffrey. Anderson is an excellent deep threat, but it has been something going to waste the last few seasons as the Panthers struggled to find consistency at the quarterback position.
Now healthy, hopefully, Mayfield can bring that to them. Despite battling injuries last season, he was a much better deep ball passer than Darnold, something that will assuredly make Anderson happy.
Despite being behind the eight-ball with Darnold having a full season of being in Carolina and learning the system, Mayfield has reportedly gained an edge in the starting quarterback race. Two more preseason games remain for Mayfield to impress the coaching staff as much as he has impressed Anderson.