Carolina Panthers defensive end Brian Burns pulled back the curtain on quarterback Bryce Young's personality after joining as the No. 1 overall selection.
It's no secret that Bryce Young has left a hugely positive impression on the Carolina Panthers locker room in a relatively short space of time. The No. 1 overall selection in the 2023 NFL Draft came with a pretty big bullseye on his back given the hype attached, but he's handled everything with exemplary poise and composure during his critical early transition from college to the pros.
Young has set the tone by being first out to the practice field and already boasts complete command of the huddle. This might be astonishing to some, but not when one examines the quarterback's tireless work ethic, meticulous preparation, and ability to lead without being all that vocal.
Carolina Panthers locker room warming quickly to Bryce Young
This is something not going unnoticed by more established figures within the locker room. When asked about Young following the first day of Carolina's mandatory minicamp, defensive end Brian Burns jokingly stated via Carolina Blitz and USA Today Sports that he wasn't too fond of the signal-caller before perfectly describing his overall demeanor.
"I don’t like him. It’s hard not to like that kid. He put quite a stamp on the locker room. He walks around with this kind of humble, excuse my language, but ‘I’m humble, but I know I’m the [expletive]’ type of swag, know what I’m sayin’? He know he got it, but he humble with it. And he’s always happy, I don’t know. I mean, ain’t nothin’ to be mad about. But, yeah, it’s hard not to like that kid. He’s a good kid."- Brian Burns via USA Today Sports
It couldn't have been said any better, in all honesty. Young is a quiet, polite character who walks around with confidence normally associated with someone at the very top of their profession.
The former Alabama star isn't there yet. Young knows better than anyone that his college accomplishments mean absolutely nothing anymore - it's what the player does moving forward at the game's pinnacle that's far more pivotal for his football legacy.
Burns is on the opposite side of the football - the defensive leader looking to make life extremely uncomfortable for Young and Carolina's new-look offense. He won't want his squad getting shown up by a rookie throughout the summer, which is an urgency and competitiveness that can be mutually beneficial in readiness for the 2023 campaign.
Of course, the edge rusher is hoping to get paid handsomely before then. Something that will probably make Burns among the best-paid players at the position after two-straight Pro Bowl selections and 30.5 sacks over the last three seasons.
Young is a long way from worrying about that. Taking things one day at a time, soaking up every ounce of information imaginable, and coming through on the field have been notable areas of focus for the Heisman Trophy winner, which has been working like a dream so far.
Winning over established multimillionaires isn't easy. Although Young is seemingly making it look just that based on the comments emanating from Burns and others throughout early offseason workouts.
It's been the best possible start. Young won't be resting on his laurels when everyone breaks up for some rest before Spartanburg and training camp, so this could just be the start of great things to come.