Skip to main content
Carolina Panthers

For Bryce Young, it starts with himself

Bryce Young

CHARLOTTE – Bryce Young didn't have to wait long for his "welcome to the NFL" moment.

It came in his first series of the preseason when Jets defensive lineman Solomon Thomas got right to Young as he tossed an 8-yard completion to Adam Thielen.

But he bounced right back up. And when Frank Reich asked him about how he was doing a little bit later in the game, Young said he felt fine.

The rookie quarterback, who played three series in his league debut, kept a positive attitude about taking three hits in six pass attempts. He maintained that even keel he'd shown since the Panthers took him with the first overall pick in this year's draft.

"That's part of the game," Young said. "Football is a physical sport. It's part of the job description. You're going to get hit. That's the game we play. It's part of the job; you know that's coming, so that's not something I think of. Can't let that affect your decision-making or what you're going through. For me, that's part of the game. It happens. And I'm just focused on the next play, trying to make sure I execute every time I get a chance to go out there."

Young's night was done after he went 4-of-6 for 21 yards with no interceptions or touchdowns and one sack. The Panthers rolled with Matt Corral for the rest of a 27-0 loss at home against the Jets on Saturday.

Young took accountability for the whole rather than parts, even the parts that wouldn't have been his fault. The offensive line wasn't particularly thrilled about how their night went. There were some miscommunications with receivers. The running backs missed Miles Sanders, who was sidelined for the day with a groin injury.

"Lack of execution – start with myself," Young said when asked what went wrong while he was starting. "There are things I definitely could have done better. Us as a unit, we all take accountability, and we all look in the mirror first. 

"Coach Reich made that point with us in the locker room, of us being a team and a unit that looks in the mirror and takes accountability. That's what we put on tape; that's what we had. So now we have to figure out. We have to learn from it. We have to own it. … It's all of us, top to bottom. We take complete accountability of what happened. So obviously, we want to improve and be better." 

Reich said he didn't want to show the full capacity of his offense in this game, that it was part of his philosophy to keep the preseason opener "generic." 

Neither Reich nor Young said it was an excuse for how the game went, though, as the Panthers never reached the end zone and put up 165 yards of total offense with just 10 first downs all day.

"We had good plays being called all night," Young said. "Again, we didn't execute. So that's on us; that's on me, first and foremost, and us as a unit, as a group. We've got to go watch the tape, and go learn from it."

Saturday also included five sacks against the Panthers – one of which was taken by Young, which pushed him back 9 yards in his third and final series of the day.

"When sacks happen, that's on all of us," Young said. "Those sacks are on me as well. I can, of course, get the ball out quicker. We're a group. We're a unit. We're a team. So there's no finger-pointing. If there's a negative play, again, there's a sack, ultimately, I allowed myself to get sacked. I could have gotten the ball out quicker."

But Young also kept it all in perspective – that it was a preseason game after all, and that there's plenty to learn from the day.

And sometimes, it takes a hit for it to sink in that he's back playing football again.

"You go months and months without actually getting hit – and this isn't something that's new this year, but kind of every year – the first time you get hit, it's like, 'All right, cool,'" Young said. "It hasn't happened (yet), but I remember what it feels like. Like, we're back playing football."

Check out scenes from the Panthers' first preseason game against the Jets.

Related Content