Skip to main content

Bryce Young makes plays with his legs in preseason finale  

Bryce Young

CHARLOTTE – Bryce Young talked about the places he's looking to improve in after Friday's preseason loss to Detroit, just like he has after the two games that preceded it.

But he had a new area of his game to point to Friday.

On third-and-9, Young slid down for a 13-yard gain in one of the more ungraceful ways a quarterback can plop himself onto the field. 

Even using the word slide could be generous, as it looked more like the rookie signal-caller sat himself down on the turf. 

Wide receiver Adam Thielen said Young's teammates quipped he needed to practice his slides. Young joked that "slide lessons" were already on the next week's schedule.

"Never claimed for it (sliding) to be one of my strong suits," Young said. "Never played baseball, so never really learned that. But yeah, a lot of room for improvement, so can't disagree with that."  

But while Young said he was "just trying to make a play," the quarterback known for his processing speed for reading defenses showed that he could make some speedy pickups for the offense in pivotal moments. 

"Anytime we can move the chains on a third down is obviously good for us offensively," Young said. "Whatever the defense gives us, not just me, as a unit, we want to be able to take advantage of that. And on that play, it just happened to be a running lane." 

After extending a drive on that 13-yard scramble, Young finished the drive with his first touchdown. On the ground, Young's night ended with 21 total yards on three scampers, two of which converted on third down. 

"I think he was sharp and productive and made plays," head coach Frank Reich said. "(He) showed even more playmaking ability with his feet. … I thought he was accurate and made plays."

After mentioning how they've "got to work on his sliding a little bit," Reich complimented Young's instincts in those moments. 

"He has that instinct," Reich said. "He has that make-you-miss. … We've seen that in practice, little snippets of that. He does that little stop-start hesitation move that's hard to figure out. So that was good by him."

Young pieced together his most productive effort of the preseason, leading two scoring drives (a field goal and a touchdown) and finishing the night after those two series with a 7-of-12 passing clip for 73 yards and a touchdown.

"When you are able to put some good stuff on tape, a couple of scoring drives, it's always good to coach off of that," Young said. "But it still doesn't mean there's not stuff that we can't improve on. Just like taking the good with the bad, just like any other week, just trying to grow from it." 

Thielen, Young's favorite target on the night who caught the 16-yard pass in the end zone, finished with four receptions for 48 yards.

And the 33-year-old veteran receiver left impressed with what Young showed on his feet, too.

"That's huge, when the plays aren't there, and he can extend drives by using his feet," Thielen said. "I mean, that's demoralizing to defenses. They make a good call or have good coverage, and then we still get the first down. That's huge. And then that really amplifies the offense. 

"Obviously, we knew he could do that. We knew that was a weapon of his, and we're going to need that moving forward." 

Young played at least two series in each preseason game and finally found the end zone in the finale. 

And at the preseason's conclusion, he said he felt confident as he slides into the regular season, which starts at Atlanta on Sept. 10. 

"Having these games under my belt, it's great to be able to take that and then translate to playing against others," Young said. "Obviously, I haven't played in a regular season game before, and it's going to present challenges that (I) haven't faced yet. But I'm excited for that. And I understand the challenge that comes with it. I'm excited to grow through that."

Check out photos of the Panthers during their preseason finale against the Lions.

Related Content