No decision will be made as to who will be the Carolina Panthers’ QB1 this season until Week 2 of the pre-season has passed.
Panthers head coach Matt Roll on Saturday announced his team’s pre-season tilt on August 19 against the New England Patriots host as a testing ground in the QB battle between Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold.
“I won’t schedule a quarterback until after we get back from Patriots week,” said Ruhl. via David Newton from ESPN. “Patriots week is a real test for us. It will really show us where the men are.”
Darnold and Mayfield have rotated representatives since the latter joined the team via trade prior to training camp in July. Darnold let the two know that the two were “cool” with each other and expected better competition to emerge in each, while Mayfield valued transparency in the process.
Neither of them emerged as the obvious first candidate, though, and Rolle insisted all along that he wouldn’t be in a rush to make a decision.
By the time the Patriots’ pre-season game is on the agenda, the Panthers will have played the leaders in their pre-season opener on August 13 and also participated in joint training with the Butts ahead of Friday night’s game.
On Saturday, both QBs had objections in practice, much to Rhule’s dismay.
“We have to protect football,” said Ruhl.
Although Rhule has not firmly stated that he will make a decision after the Patriots game, he will now stand as a pointer on the calendar in the league’s most anticipated quarterback competition.
Then it will be Sunday without practice, which will be a chance to delve into what he saw as the 2018 NFL’s top three picks so far.
“Really look into the tape and see who’s good at attacking and who’s not really good,” Ruhl said of his plans and staff on Sunday.