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Monday Brew: A "great opportunity" for Thomas Brown, Bryce Young to work together

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CHARLOTTE – Among the positives that could come from handing play-calling duties to offensive coordinator Thomas Brown, head coach Frank Reich said the partnership of the young coach and a young quarterback is high among them.

Brown is a 37-year-old rising star in the industry, and now he's paired with the 22-year-old first-overall draft pick, rookie quarterback Bryce Young.

From Reich's standpoint, they could be setting up for a bright future ahead.

"Listen, the guys love and respect Thomas, so I know they'll play hard for him," Reich said. "It'll be good. It's a great opportunity, working with a young quarterback like Bryce, for Thomas and Bryce to take this step together – that's a big deal. Getting a coordinator, play-caller, and a quarterback on the same page.

"Really, this is a journey together, that you develop a bond and a closeness that's really important in the process."

Reich said Brown had a "great football mind," saying that the timing was right for this step.

"He has the strongest leadership qualities that you could ask for in a coach," Reich said. "I can't emphasize how excited I am for Thomas. This is just the next step.

"He's young, relatively speaking – young age-wise, not young in the coaching profession. But I think there's a reason why, at his age, he has ascended to this position so quickly, because you just get around him for five minutes, and you can feel it from him."

As for Reich, he said he will remain in most quarterback meetings and the game-planning process, playing a significant role as a sounding board on game days for Brown.

But he made it clear: This is fully Brown's offense to run.

"Just like when I'm calling it, I might want to have a question or thought or ask for an opinion, but I'm not going to micromanage him," Reich said. "He does not need to be micromanaged. I know what that feels like. So I'm just not going to do that. He's going to have control, and (I'll) be there to support him in any way I can."

– Young said he was "really excited" to hear Brown would be taking over play-calling and wasn't surprised because it was "always part of the plan."

Young said Reich had told the offense since training camp that the time would come for Brown to start calling the plays.

"We were always working toward that," Young said. "He made that known far before the season started. We didn't necessarily have a timeline, but we always knew that this was coming. I'm super excited. I'm excited for the future."

– Reich said starting guard Austin Corbett's status is "trending very positively" heading into the bye week as he recovers from last season's ACL injury. This leaves the possibility for Corbett to be available for Week 8 against the Texans.

Regarding starting cornerback Jaycee Horn, who was placed on injured reserve with a hamstring issue in Week 2, Reich said Horn has an appointment this week to help estimate when he'll be ready to return.

"He has a checkup here with the doctor coming up this week," Reich said. "That will be the next step to make a determination."

– Reich said he hasn't felt "the slightest bit of surprise" as veteran wide receiver Adam Thielen has gotten off to a dominant start to his Carolina career.

With his 115-yard, 11-catch game at Miami, Thielen has recorded at least 75 receiving yards in four straight games and has tallied at least 100 yards in three of those.

He's created a strong chemistry with Young – especially as a target on third downs, as Thielen's 17 third-down receptions ranked first in the league at the conclusion of Sunday's game.

"This guy's special," Reich said of Thielen. "He's a special route runner. He's got special football smarts and savvy. He's a unique and elite competitor. He's an elite leader. Obviously, you guys can tell Bryce has a ton of confidence in him. He just continues to make play after play."

– Thielen himself has said Brown was among the most impressive people he'd met here.

So he had plenty of good words to say about Brown after Monday's news came.

"I could tell early on that he's a special coach," Thielen said. "He's a special person, a special guy, a special coach.

"And just the way he approaches the game, I think sometimes coaches either have the intellect of Xs and Os, or they have the past player kind of mindset, and he's got an unbelievable mix of both of those, which I think gives him the opportunity to be a really good coordinator and coach in this league."

– Reich commented on how senior assistant Jim Caldwell's mentorship has guided him throughout the season, including the conversations about switching over play-calling duties.

"Jim has been a mentor to me in a lot of ways," Reich said. "I still talk to him about just about everything – and including all these discussions.

"I've had one-on-one conversations with coach Caldwell about just about everything that we do. (I) just feel like he's a voice of reason. Very wise, has kind of seen it all. Been there, done that. … We can process through stuff together."

View all the action from the Panthers' game in Week 6 against the Miami Dolphins.

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