Former GM urges Carolina Panthers to play the long game with Bryce Young

Bryce Young
Bryce Young / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Former NFL general manager Rick Spielman urged the Carolina Panthers to play the long game with rookie quarterback Bryce Young.

There's been plenty of chatter about Bryce Young and whether or not the Carolina Panthers made the right call to take him No. 1 overall in the 2023 NFL Draft. This is an asinine discussion just three starts into his professional career, especially within the confines of a less-than-inspiring offensive system devised by head coach Frank Reich.

It's not been perfect for Young so far, nor should it be. This is a quarterback working under extreme pressure almost with one hand tied behind his back, which isn't being helped by wide receivers that cannot get open consistently and an offensive line going through some significant complications without their starting guard tandem of Brady Christensen and Austin Corbett.

These are all mitigating circumstances, but Young also needs to be held accountable despite his lack of experience. Ball security remains the primary concern, which reared its ugly head once again with a crucial fumble against the Minnesota Vikings that was returned for a touchdown.

Carolina Panthers must be patient with Bryce Young

Still, upon examining the game film from week to week, Young is definitely improving and showing the flashes that made him Carolina's consensus choice atop the draft. Fans are impatient in this day and age - especially considering the early success of C.J. Stroud with the Houston Texans - but former NFL general manager Rick Spielman urged the Panthers to play the long game with their prized possession for some long-term rewards via The 33rd Team.

"When [Bryce] Young is in rhythm, he is an accurate thrower at the short and intermediate levels, and he gets the ball out on time. He is doing a better job using his eyes to move safeties and getting through his progressions. Young threw two interceptions against the Falcons when Jessie Bates got a jump on his throws across the middle of the field. Young has not thrown an interception since that opening game. One thing I know about Young is he is one of the most competitive players I have ever interviewed. Don’t mistake his quiet demeanor for how much he wants to succeed and win. He has a high football IQ and has a natural feel for the position. He is going through some growing pains, but it will pay in the long run for him and the Panthers."

Rick Spielman, The 33rd Team

The Panthers haven't helped Young much whatsoever to date. There are only so many screens a fan could watch before things become untenable, but Carolina is 0-4 and going nowhere fast, so why not open things up and allow the Heisman Trophy winner to take complete command of the offense?

If it doesn't work, who cares? At least we'll have a broader indication of what Young can do and what he needs to improve rather than treating him like a child incapable of running a complex NFL system.

Young has the mentality and football IQ to cope with such demands, or so we were told. Actions speak way louder than words at this point and with nothing to lose over the next fortnight versus playoff-caliber opponents, just take the training wheels off and let the kid go.

And who knows, this might be the spark that ignites the Panthers' offense into life at long last.