Matt Rhule Explains How Baker Mayfield Beat Out Sam Darnold

The "open competition" between Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold officially came to an end on Monday when Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule named Mayfield the starting quarterback.

For Rhule, it's always been about three things during the evaluation process and Mayfield excelled in each of those areas.

"Number one, mastery of the offense, number two, situational football excellence, and number three, moving the ball and getting guys involved," Rhule told "That's been our focus all along."

"It's not easy what he did," Rhule said about Mayfield. "Between the verbiage and the checks and all the options that we give him. I think he's just a really smart guy,

but he works really hard at it. As he stays in the offense, he'll grow and grow and grow and get better and better. I have to give him a lot of credit for what he's done.

"At the end of the day, we feel like Baker's made a lot of progress in a short amount of time."

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