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Notebook: Bryce Young has "turned the page" to New Orleans

Bryce Young

CHARLOTTE – Bryce Young and the Panthers' offense aren't struggling to move on from a Week 1 loss.

By Wednesday, Young said they'd reviewed the film, taken the good with the bad, and centered all the focus on New Orleans.

"We've turned the page," Young said. "It's been just about how we can be constructive from it. There's good stuff on film that we have to continue to do. And then there's stuff that we have to learn from – I have to learn from – and we're in the process of getting it cleaned up.

"We're playing New Orleans, so obviously, we need all of our attention to be able to do what we want to do. It takes us being locked in and engaged on that. You've got to push what happened on Sunday aside, and it's been all about growing and getting ready for Monday."

It's a Monday Night Football matchup with the Saints in Week 2 for the rookie quarterback's first regular season experience at Bank of America Stadium, but he said in a press conference that he's viewing it like any other game of football. 

And he has plenty of room to show that he has learned from his debut. 

Young threw for 146 yards on 20-of-38 passing with one touchdown and two interceptions, and his longest pass of the day traveled just 14 yards. He averaged 3.8 yards per attempt, earning a 48.8 rating. 

But it wasn't all bad. Young was generally safe with the ball, tossing it out of bounds multiple times when there wasn't anyone to catch it, and he led a few solid drives – including the opening series, which ended on a turnover on downs deep in Atlanta territory.

At the same time, Young and the offense didn't get it done, and the Falcons (specifically Jessie Bates III and his two interceptions) were able to pick him off twice – mistakes that cost a win in his first start. 

"There's good stuff on film, just as a team and as a unit," he said. "For one reason or another, I don't think we executed when it was important. We didn't do all the things we wanted to, that we needed to do to win the game. So I think just tying everything together and executing is definitely going to be something that is an area of focus for me and the entire team." 

Young said he's getting into the groove of a week-by-week NFL schedule, even if the New Orleans game is on Monday night because those months of waiting for Week 1 have already passed.

Now he's able to turn the page to another opponent much sooner.

"You have such a long build-up for your first game," Young said. "(The) first real game is something that, the moment you declare, it's not in the forefront of your mind, but it's another one of those milestones and boxes to check. It's the first thing that happens for months and months. … 

"Now, it's back to a normal, stable week mode. Now, it's just you focus on this week, and then it's going to be a quick reset. Now I have the amount of days I have to focus on New Orleans, and it's not huge; it's not months. It's definitely good to just be in that rhythm."

– Head coach Frank Reich said the team is still "working through" an evaluation of starting cornerback Jaycee Horn's hamstring injury that took him out of the Atlanta game.

Reich said Horn continues to seek additional opinions, adding that the possibilities of a stint on injured reserve and/or surgery are still "on the table."

"It is a serious hamstring injury," Reich said. "He's going to be out for a while – for an extended period of time – but I still don't have enough information to give a definitive statement on exactly what's going to be the course of action with him. Hopefully, we get that answer in the next day or two."

– With Horn's long-term status unknown, Reich said they're "likely" to add another corner to the 53-man roster to aid with depth there.

At the same time, he did express belief in CJ Henderson, Troy Hill, and Donte Jackson, saying they felt good with "that whole contingent" of cornerbacks.

– Reich clarified as much as he knew about starting left guard Brady Christensen biceps injury, which landed him on injured reserve with a kind of recovery timeline that will span months instead of weeks. 

Christensen sustained the injury late in the Falcons game and continued to play with it, Reich said. 

In Christensen's absence, Reich said the Panthers would take a look at three potential fill-ins – Cade Mays, Nash Jensen, and Justin McCray (currently on the practice squad). 

Rookie lineman Chandler Zavala started Week 1 at right guard, while regular starter Austin Corbett continues to recover from an ACL tear that has him on the physically unable to perform list.

– The Panthers have churned their practice squad this week, adding several new faces to the group at various positions.

Monday, they added cornerback Dicaprio Bootle and defensive end Chris Wormley while bringing back linebacker Deion Jones. Tuesday, cornerback Lamar Jackson joined the group. And on Wednesday, they brought on wide receiver Mike Strachan and running back Tarik Cohen

Cohen, a North Carolina native who went to college at North Carolina A&T, was once a first-team All-Pro selection and Pro Bowler (both in 2018 with the Bears), but he hasn't played since 2020 due to a swath of injuries.

The 5-foot-6, 181-pound Cohen worked out for the Panthers on Tuesday before passing a physical and making it official on Wednesday. 

"I was really excited to see him out there for his workout," Reich said. "I remember when he was with the Bears, just watching him and just like, 'Man, this guy is – he is different.' Not only physically is he different, but his quickness – and as a runner."

– Young also commented on Aaron Rodgers' season-ending Achilles injury sustained on Monday Night Football early in the Jets' game against the Bills.

Rodgers, who met up with Young when the Jets came to Spartanburg for joint practices in training camp, had yet to complete a pass for New York before he departed the game early in the first quarter.

"It's really tough to see something like that," Young said. "Any time someone has an injury, especially with that severity, it's tough to see. All the work that goes into it, all the building, all that you put into the game, and for it to go like that, I'm praying for him. 

"It's just tough. He's been someone that I've looked up to and admired for a really long time – someone that I've had the pleasure to talk to and meet, and has always been super nice to me. He's given me advice; he's talked to me about things when he didn't have to. … I have nothing but love and respect for him. Prayers for his situation; you hate to see that."

Take a look at the best pictures from pre-game, in-game and post-game action from Sunday's season opener against the Falcons.

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