While Carolina Panthers rookie quarterback Bryce Young has only completed six passes in the preseason, he’s shown the characteristics of a veteran quarterback. His film in his first two games has proved the previous statement.
“It’s limited opportunities, but you’ve got to make those count,” Young said. “And I think, just listening to coaches stressing urgency of every situation, every down. You get a limited amount of reps in the preseason, but you have to make them count. Because of that, there’s a lot of emphasis to be the best we can.”
Film Review: Bryce Young Is Already Proving He’s The Real Deal
On his first drive, Bryce Young displayed his scrambling and pocket awareness as those aspects of his game heightened with poor offensive line play. Before being forced to punt, Young had Jonathan Mingo for a potential run and score on third down. Unfortunately, Mingo slowed down at the top of his route, and the throw fell incomplete.
Young didn’t force the ball into harm’s way throughout the short drive. One of the biggest question marks was Young’s height. He showed that wouldn’t be an issue by quickly finding throwing lanes outside the pocket.
Bryce Young’s second and final drive was the longest of his preseason career. It was a 15-play, 62-yard drive that took over 10 minutes off the clock. It began with the highlight play of the game, an RPO to Mingo for 15 yards. Mingo broke off multiple tackles and picked up a first down on a short throw.
Jonathan Mingo—physical. pic.twitter.com/SUWd7HIbP5
— John Ellis (@1PantherPlace) August 18, 2023
As the drive progressed, on a free play, Young showed his athleticism and ability to throw on the run. First, he avoided two defensive linemen and threw 35 yards on the run. The ball was intended for Adam Thielen but fell out of bounds. For the circumstances, it was the most accurate throw, as Young put it where only Thielen would get it.
Later on, a third and short, the pocket collapsed, and Bryce Young avoided a potentially batted pass for a perfect ball to Thielen. Young led his receiver as Thielen was able to pick up the first down. Young threw the ball away in the next play instead of risking pressure in his face or a sack on a dead play. Overall, the blocking improved from Week 1, but there are still necessary improvements.
“We did a couple different things communication-wise, and I think, for the most part, we handled that well,” Young said. “That’s not just me, that’s with Boze and the entire O-line, and then with receivers and running backs too, just making sure we’re on the same page. I think operationally, we added a couple of things, and I think there’s always room for improvement, but I think we handled that well.”
To end the drive, Bryce Young was called for a delay of game. With being in the red zone, those penalties cannot be taken. After the penalty, he threw a highlight catch to Hayden Hurst. Young threw the ball where only Hurst could grab it. Unfortunately, another penalty was called for holding, and the Panthers settled for a 37-yard field goal.
Promising Signs of Growth
Overall, the Mingo-Young connection in camp has transitioned to the preseason. As both players gain more reps, their connection will strengthen as Mingo rises up the depth chart. So far, both players have been living up to expectations going into their rookie year.
“The more reps, more experience, you know, especially when you get to go against another team in a game environment, that’s a valuable experience for me, especially at this stage,” Young said. “So definitely grateful for it. A lot I want to improve on and get better at, but I’m going to keep taking it day by day.”
Miles Sanders has sat out throughout these first two games, and implementing him into the offense will alleviate the pass rush off Bryce Young. Giving Young more time and less pressure will allow him to succeed in his first year.
Main Photo: Michael Karras – USA Today Sports