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Monday Brew: Frank Reich has "zero question" of Bryce Young's toughness

Frank Reich, Bryce Young

CHARLOTTE – Frank Reich said he has never had a doubt about quarterback Bryce Young's toughness.

But during the bye, when reflecting upon how his rookie signal-caller has handled himself throughout a winless start, Reich said his opinion of Young continued to grow.

"There's zero question in my mind about Bryce Young's toughness," Reich said. "I didn't question it in the draft process, just because of the way he handled himself in his college career. But I can just tell you this: Six games into it, physical and mental toughness, he checks that box big time."

Young was a highly sought-after college quarterback selected by the Panthers with the No. 1 overall pick in this year's draft, and he was a highly-recruited high school quarterback who committed to Alabama and won a Heisman Trophy.

"I think that (toughness) is going to continue to grow and demonstrate itself," Reich said. "I'm sure he's never experienced anything like an 0-6 start. But the way he's handled that – the resolve and the determination you can see in his eyes and you can feel in his demeanor – is the way you would expect someone with his toughness and competitiveness to handle it."

As the Panthers prepare to face the Houston Texans, which picked quarterback CJ Stroud with the second overall pick just after Young this year, Reich was asked about his evaluations of the draft class, as they were rearing up to pick a quarterback this spring.

Reich complimented the group as a whole but emphasized the fact of the matter: As for him, it was Bryce Young.

"I thought the whole quarterback draft class was a really good class; I really enjoyed diving into each one of them, I thought they were all good players," Reich said. "If you look at my scorecard on all of them, I thought they were all good players. We just thought Bryce was the best. I thought Bryce was the best. Not taking anything away from anybody else. …

"We talked a lot about what we liked about Bryce and why we chose Bryce. So I'll just leave it at that."

– Reich said he and offensive coordinator Thomas Brown, who officially received play-calling duties from Reich one week ago to the date, continued their conversations Monday morning as they plan for the first game in which Brown will direct the offense.

Reich said "a lot of collaboration" between head coach and coordinator will remain as Brown takes over play calling, and that assistants such as quarterbacks coach Josh McCown and passing game coordinator Parks Frazier would also contribute, but that Brown's stamp will be the main one on the offense this week.

"It'll be an organic thing," Reich said of the transition. "There's still going to be a lot of collaboration. Thomas is going to be in charge; it's not going to be micromanaged. The staff will contribute like they do, but Thomas will be – his personality, his decision-making … will be the play-by-play decisions. What we do as a game-planning process, that will stay the same as it's been."

– Starting right guard Austin Corbett, in the final week of his return window from a late-season ACL tear last year, continues to make progress in his recovery, Reich said.

Reich wasn't ready to make declarations on Corbett's eligibility for this week but spoke positively of him.

"He had a good week last week, made really good progress," Reich said. "We'll kind of see. We'll make those decisions as the week unfolds, see how he does in practice. But he's been making good progress."

– As for other starters with injuries, including cornerback Jaycee Horn (hamstring) and safety Xavier Woods (hamstring), among others, Reich wasn't able to share many updates after the bye week. 

He said he was electing to wait until Wednesday (the Panthers' first day back to practice before the Houston game) for both "competitive reasons" and because he hadn't had an official meeting with the medical team yet.

"I am encouraged by the progress that everybody's making," Reich said. "But I just think it'll be better for us to kind of give a little bit more information on Wednesday." 

– Reich said the team's schedule during the bye week kept players at Bank of America Stadium through last Wednesday at noon. 

He said that was "intentional" to encourage extra work during the bye week.

"When I reflect back on that time, I already feel like that was the right thing to do," Reich said. "At the moment, it was like, sometimes you can let the guys go for the whole week. But I felt like that was the right decision and gave us a chance to work through some stuff."

The Carolina Panthers partnered with the Children's Theatre of Charlotte and A Kid Again to share Halloween spirit with Atrium Health Levine Children's patients at the team's 19th annual Halloween Spooktacular fashion show extravaganza.

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