Bryce Young will start Carolina Panthers preseason opener
After an indifferent weekend under center at practice, the frustrations were evident for Bryce Young. The No. 1 overall selection in the 2023 NFL Draft was never going to get the better of such a talented defense all the time, but what unfolds in the coming days when the New York Jets visit for joint practices is of paramount importance.
Frank Reich also delivered what was surprising news to many after Sunday's practice. The head coach confirmed via David Newton of ESPN that Young will start Saturday's preseason game against the Jets, although he didn't reveal how many snaps he'd be allocated given the need to keep him out of harm's way before Week 1 at the Atlanta Falcons arrives.
"I do have an idea. There is flexibility in the plan. There has to be. That's just being smart about it. We have a general idea how many plays we want to get through the whole preseason, but that can be adjusted by 10 or 20 percent depending on how things go."- Frank Reich via ESPN
While there is a definite need for Young to get live NFL fire in the coming weeks, the Panthers have to be smart about his usage. Under no circumstance should the former Alabama phenom be out there without the starting offensive line or his primary playmakers, so one wouldn't expect to see anything more than a series from him this weekend.
Perhaps this might increase in the second preseason game before sitting out the third. But it depends on how the coaching staff feels he's coming along when presented with different in-game situations - albeit in a more relaxed setting than a regular season encounter.
It's a fine line, that's for sure. Fortunately for the Panthers, they have some top-level minds making the decisions this time around.