Carolina Panthers wide receiver Robbie Anderson has opened up about quarterback Baker Mayfield and what he brings to the team.
Robbie Anderson is just one of a number of players on the Carolina Panthers that will be hoping for a bounceback year in 2022. Having put up 1,096 yards in 2020 during head coach Matt Rhule’s first year in charge, he suffered a little bit of a drop-off in 2021.
Whilst he was able to increase his touchdown production from three to five in 2021, his receiving yards fell by more than half as he could only put up 519, although some of that could be put down to the mess that the team were at quarterback last year as they had three different players start games, including Sam Darnold who completed less than 60% of his passes and only threw for 2,527 yards all season.
Now though, there is a new man under centre for the Panthers in the form of Baker Mayfield and he will be looking to take the team back to being contenders once again, much in the same way he did with the Cleveland Browns.
Saving a second team
There is no doubt that Mayfield played a part in helping the Browns get out of the doldrums and being seen as a serious team in the league rather than a laughing stock having gone 1-31 in the two seasons before he arrived.
Some of the credit does deserve to go to the players around him, such as the two running backs Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb as well as a competent defence led by the likes of Myles Garrett, but Mayfield certainly played his part in proceedings, throwing for 14,125 yards and 92 touchdowns and completing 61.6% of his passes during his time in Ohio.
But more than his play on the field, some of that came down to his attitude which helped to galvanise the side and turn them into a team that heading into 2021 had some people believing that they could be a Super Bowl contender.
And that attitude seems to have made its way from Cleveland to Carolina.
Praise for the new play-caller
Speaking to reporters (via USAToday), Anderson praised Mayfield’s ability to learn the new system so quickly as well as his ability off the field when it comes to how he conducts himself:
“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.”
With the Panthers having gone 5-12 last season, there is certainly a lot of work that needs to be done in order to turn the team around. But as Mayfield showed in Cleveland, that’s pretty much his specialty, and at least he’s starting off on a better footing than he was when he first took the field for the Browns.