Carolina Panthers taking the correct approach with Bryce Young
By Dean Jones
Even though it's causing significant debate, the Carolina Panthers are taking the correct approach with rookie quarterback Bryce Young this offseason.
Given the Carolina Panthers selected Bryce Young at No. 1 overall in the 2023 NFL Draft, there is an obvious sense of anticipation and urgency to get him onto the field. Especially considering the revolving door of signal-callers fans have been forced to endure since Cam Newton was released to begin the Matt Rhule era in 2020.
Young left a tremendous impression throughout Carolina's rookie minicamp this weekend. He was poised, set the correct tone, and also displayed the on-field traits that made him the Panthers' consensus choice after their daring trade to control the draft.
This only adds to the level of excitement about what Young could potentially bring next season. However, it's not altered the Panthers' plan surrounding the former Alabama star, who'll sit behind Andy Dalton on the depth chart initially before earning the right to assume command under center.
Carolina Panthers right to make Bryce Young earn everything
Carolina's preferred method for integrating Young has come under scrutiny from some in the media. That's of no consequence to head coach Frank Reich, who stated via the team's website that the plan is to get him plenty of reps when OTAs arrive - even if the distinction of opening as the starter won't be handed to the Heisman Trophy winner right out of the gate.
"Bryce is going to get a lot of reps – likely even a few more than Andy, just as the new guy. The good thing with Andy is he's logged a lot in the last couple of weeks. And as a savvy veteran, he still needs the work, but we'll focus on getting Bryce, as the younger player – focus on getting him as many reps as we can."- Frank Reich via Panthers.com
Making Young work for his opportunity atop the depth chart at football's most prestigious position is the best way to go. It keeps the player engaged, avoids any sense of entitlement, and allows the signal-caller to earn the respect of his teammates - which is arguably the most important factor of all.
It would be a surprise if Young wasn't under center in Week 1 at the Atlanta Falcons. ESPN are certainly expecting something similar given they've allocated his home debut against the New Orleans Saints for Monday Night Football in Week 2.
Even if Young is No.2 on the depth chart for the start of Carolina's training camp in Spartanburg, managing his reps effectively is critical. One only has to look at the situation that unfolded with Matt Corral last summer to see what complications could emerge.
After trading up to No. 94 overall for the Ole Miss product, Rhule opted for a quarterback competition between Sam Darnold and Baker Mayfield in one last roll of the dice to save his job.
This left Corral working with third and fourth-string players, which hindered his development considerably. It also played a significant role in the player's serious foot fracture that ruled him out for the entire campaign.
Coaching malpractice coupled with Young's arrival leaves Corral's fortunes hanging in the balance. Considering the franchise's investment in its newest prized possession, reps must be managed better - which is almost guaranteed with real NFL coaches running matters at long last.
The key word here is patience.
Obviously, fans don't have much of that after languishing among the NFL's bottom feeders under Rhule. But if Reich and his elite-level staff believe this is the best route forward for Young ahead of his rookie season, they should be trusted.
After all, David Tepper didn't shell out megabucks for these coaches to dictate anything else.
Young will be fine. He knows better than anyone the need to establish himself within a professional setting among grown men - some of whom have already been to the very top.
Just how long it'll take to become the undisputed No. 1 remains to be seen. However, there's no doubt Young is off to a good start with his humble, methodical approach.