What Panthers QB PJ Walker has done to prepare for training camp
By Alaina Getzenberg, Charlotte Observer
Three months removed from when the veterans were first scheduled to practice at Bank of America Stadium, Teddy Bridgewater and P.J. Walker arrived at Bank of America Stadium on Thursday to begin working there for the first time. The only constant in the quarterback room, Will Grier, will return for a second season with an almost entirely new coaching staff.
Walker received plenty of attention after he broke onto the scene with an impressive performance in the XFL prior to the league shuttering in March and was even on pace to become the league’s MVP. He threw for 1,338 yards, 15 touchdowns and just four interceptions, leading the Houston Roughnecks to a 5-0 start.
He has lived in Charlotte for the past few months and has been preparing for the season, including training with QB Country North Carolina trainer and former Duke quarterback Anthony Boone, alongside Giants quarterback Daniel Jones and other NFL and local football players while maintaining social distancing protocols.
Boone and Walker connected through his former Roughnecks receiver Sam Mobley. They started working when the pandemic hit, typically every Tuesday and Thursday for about two-and-a-half hours, in addition to some one-on-one sessions.
“He’s got a lot of twitch. He’s really quick… There’s drills that we kind of work on different platform throws, different movement throws, create different angles and throwing different routes and just seeing how much twitch he was able to have and still maintain a lot of control,” Boone said. “I think he’s a guy where kind of like your Kyler Murrays, Lamar Jacksons, guys that even though he’s considered moving off platform and getting off schedule, he still has a lot of arm and a lot of twitch to remain and get back on schedule.”
For Boone, working with NFL quarterbacks has helped elevate his abilities as a quarterback trainer. While he helped the players work on skills, they taught him what was helpful for them and allowed him to work with players who are at the level that younger quarterbacks are trying to reach. In turn, working with professional quarterbacks has only helped him when training others, allowing him to share with others how certain drills or skills can pay off.
“He’s a guy that with the right opportunity, right time, right circumstances, he’ll do the same thing in the NFL,” Boone said. “He’s sharp, he’s polished.”