Will Grier feels more comfortable, hopes it matters

Will Grier

CHARLOTTE — Will Grier doesn't know if what he did Saturday night matters, when it comes to his job status.

What he's sure about is that this is as comfortable as he's felt as a Panthers quarterback.

Grier was one of the bright spots for the Panthers in Saturday's 20-3 loss to the Ravens.

He was 11-of-14 for 144 yards passing, at one point hitting on nine straight throws, and looking much sharper than a week ago. Playing with the second offense matters, but Grier himself was notably better, and admitted this was probably as well as he's played since he was drafted.

"It's up there," he said after the game. "I felt comfortable last week. I think, in a game setting, yeah, absolutely."

Grier talked about having more experience, and being in the same system from one season to the next — he's never really had that luxury since his college days.

"You know it going into camp, so you're just going through the details and get better," he said. "That's been a huge benefit this year."

A week ago, he didn't get many chances. He completed 6-of-10 passes against the Colts for 31 yards, and didn't get many opportunities, or many opportunities to get it downfield.

Playing with Terrace Marshall Jr. was also a benefit, and hitting a 34-yard completion to the rookie receiver helped.

Coaches have wanted to see Grier stay in the pocket and move the ball downfield, and he did that Saturday.

What he doesn't know is whether it matters.

The Panthers still list their backup quarterback as Grier "or" PJ Walker, though Walker got the start for the Panthers last year when Teddy Bridgewater was hurt.

Walker also went first last week, and though he was 10-of-21 for 161 yards and a touchdown, there was enough to work on in that performance that they want to make sure. Walker made some questionable decisions, so his accidental touchdown doesn't fully discount the fact they want him to be more careful at times.

Saturday against the Colts, Walker struggled, finishing 1-of-8 passing for 8 yards. The Panthers had 18 total yards in the second half.

Grier shrugged when asked if he thought he needed to be better than Walker by a significant margin to change the depth chart.

"I try not to even think about that because I'm not sure," Grier said. "I don't know. It's not up to me. I try to take advantage of my opportunities and show that I can play quarterback in this league, and it comes down to what they want. It's not my decision.

"I don't look at it even as a battle with PJ. I look at it as a battle with myself to be the best me I can be every day. I've told you guys, I think PJ is a great player. I think we're very different. I think we both can play really well in this league. I think it comes down to not our decision to make. We both come out and compete every day to get better each day, and ultimately that decision's upstairs."

View game action photos from Carolina's preseason game against Baltimore at Bank of America Stadium.

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