How will Carolina Panthers QB Bryce Young cope?
Bryce Young. No matter how you shake it, the No. 1 overall pick from the 2023 NFL Draft and newly minted face of the franchise is always going to take top billing. The quarterback position is the most important and most recognizable in the sport, and the Carolina Panthers have an incredibly polarizing one at the helm.
Young earned the starter designation on the depth chart in the first week of June, seemingly proving correct the notion that he was the most NFL-ready prospect of the draft class. He’s garnered rave reviews from teammates and coaches alike through each step of the workout circuit thus far, including the extra-curricular sessions he’s been taking part in with many of his offensive playmakers to build that invaluable working rapport.
However, the impressive rookie has been accomplishing all of this while playing the game on ‘beginner’ up to this point. Putting the pads on, experiencing full-contact and amped-up game speed, players fighting for roster spots, joint practices against actual opponents, etc. - that’s the necessary step-up in competition to get an accurate evaluation of just where the cerebral signal-caller currently stands.
When that pace does ramp up and defenders are playing with more disruptive intent, can Young stay a step ahead and maximize his out-of-structure opportunities? Will he continue to efficiently balance being aggressive while maintaining ball security as a top priority?
We’ve heard all about his quiet confidence and leadership - but how about his ability to physically operate the offense and run a tight ship? Perhaps we get to see a burst of bravado from the smiling assassin at some point.
The marriage of offensive philosophies between head coach Frank Reich and offensive coordinator Thomas Brown is a dynamic that Young will display via the plays he’s running out of the huddle.
How heavily will RPO structures be involved? It’s a safe bet we won’t see a bundle of designed run plays for Young, but from a formational standpoint, what will the balance look like? I’m interested to see how often Reich and Brown have the Heisman Trophy winner operating under center as opposed to the gun.
One of the consistent aspects in both Reich and Brown’s offensive systems is the ability to be as multiple as possible within play structures. We should start to see how that may materialize.
Realistically speaking, fans should expect hiccups. It’s all about the trajectory and progression of Young and this Panthers offense. I’ll be honed in on the decision-making, the communication and command of the offense, and the responses to adverse situations.