How is Carolina Panthers QB Bryce Young staying focused with NFL spotlight glaring?

Bryce Young has a calm head on inexperienced shoulders.

Bryce Young
Bryce Young / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

How is Carolina Panthers quarterback Bryce Young retaining his supreme focus on the task at hand heading into Week 1 at the Atlanta Falcons?

With preseason games firmly in the rearview mirror and the Carolina Panthers finalizing their roster with the promise of further potential additions on the way, excitement is building for the 2023 campaign. And make no mistake, there is a strong opportunity to make the NFL sit up and take notice with two straight division games right out of the gate.

While not everyone agrees with some decisions made by those in power over the last few days, the Panthers have something this season they haven't possessed in some time.

A franchise quarterback.

That's a lot of pressure on Bryce Young as the No. 1 overall selection in the 2023 NFL Draft. But it's something that was entirely expected when one considers his reputation coming out of college and the immense impact he's made in a relatively short space of time in Carolina.

Bryce Young harnessing excitement positively ahead of Carolina Panthers opener

Although it was a small sample size during the preseason, Young's been as advertised in terms of poise, ability to go through progressions, and ruthless conviction distributing from the pocket. It'll be interesting to see if the former Alabama star can keep this up for a full four quarters consistently and if Carolina's offensive line can keep him upright, but expectations couldn't be much higher for someone with no NFL starting experience.

The offseason can be seen as arduous for many seasoned veterans who just want the real action to begin. While this is all still new to Young, the Heisman Trophy winner's excitement about what comes next was evident based on his comments via the team's website.

"It's real, everything counts, the regular season, and this is all new for me being a rookie, so I'm definitely excited. But again, you kind of have to funnel that excitement into something productive. And for me, I try to push that into the energy and the experience of the day-to-day, of going out and practicing and giving my all –in the meeting room, in the practice room, the film room and all that, and kind of harnessing that energy and (making it productive). Especially this far out, that's all you can do for it. It's definitely exciting, for sure. But there's still a long way to go, a lot of preparation from our side. So that's really where the focus is right now."

Bryce Young via

Young is right to feel a sense of excitement while also keeping full focus on preparations. The Atlanta Falcons won't be treating him with anything other than the utmost respect in terms of their own game plan, so the Panthers would be wise to do the same under a coaching staff that warrants far more confidence than the previous regime.

As the signal-caller stated, it's about harnessing this adrenaline into something productive. Whether that be in practice, watching film during preparations, or on game day itself, Young must stay the course with his own routines to keep things as familiar as possible with the NFL's glaring spotlight shining on his every move.

Simply put by an old coach of mine. Play the game and not the occasion.

Young's got an old head on inexperienced shoulders, so he knows the magnitude of this moment. He's embracing it fully while also recognizing the need to keep composed considering his teammates in the locker room are looking right towards their starting quarterback for inspiration when they cross the white lines.

And that, above all else, is what'll determine Young's success in 2023.