What does it take to get a quarterback ready?
Former NFL players Rich Gannon and Mark Schlereth and former NFL Head Coach Mike Martz discuss the difficulties that the Carolina Panthers and Baker Mayfield could be facing this year thanks to limited training camp reps. Mayfield was acquired by the Carolina Panthers late in the offseason. He is coming into camp and having it be his formal introduction to the team.
The former NFL MVP Rich Gannon discusses the advantages quarterbacks on new teams, such as Matt Ryan and Carson Wentz, have over Mayfield who comes in late. He discusses how they are in much more “fluid situations” due to being there for OTA’s and mini-camps. Gannon adds “the coaches get a better feel for who they (the quarterback) are as well…”.
Gannon also talks about how it is being in this situation and how having so many questions can make the learning curve steeper. Former Pro Bowler Mark Schlereth adds in some notes about the difficulties faced by the entire offensive line with a quarterback who isn’t comfortable in a system yet.
“Indecision to get the play in with 14 or 15 seconds,” Schlereth notes, “we had run up to the line and then snap the ball.” He went on to add offensive linemen can’t “get calls out, change protections, we can’t identify MICs…”.
It can be difficult for all parties involved. Hearing Mark Schlereth’s tone, one can sense the frustration that Carolina may experience.
Rounding things out, Mike Martz discusses how the offensive play caller can do Mayfield a ton of favors by handling different responsibilities. Martz did the same thing for Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner when he was thrust into the starting job in 1999.
Martz discusses how “all we wanted to do was have our quarterback get the ball and get back…we were always very, very specific on where the ball was supposed to go…”. The Rams kept it simple for Warner, Martz adding that they eliminated a lot of the mental stuff stating it “simplifies everything for him…he never called any protections…”.
All three parties have sound advice for the staff and Baker Mayfield in Carolina. Everyone that has been affected by the acquisition of a quarterback provides a unique explanation of the challenges that not only the Panthers face but Mayfield as well. The former Heisman winner has his work cut out for him in Carolina, but as these three point out, this is a situation that can be managed properly.