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Tommy Tremble growing as a receiver, building bond with Bryce Young

Tommy Tremble

CHARLOTTE — In the Carolina Panthers' history, there have been great passing connections between quarterbacks and tight ends.

Kerry Collins and Steve Beuerlein to Wesley Walls and Cam Newton to Greg Olsen come to mind quite quickly.

After tight end Tommy Tremble's career day of four catches for 59 yards last week against Green Bay, is the Bryce Young-to-Tremble heading in that direction?

"I think in the last few weeks, especially in practice, we're developing a trust," Tremble said of his connection with Young. "And you have to develop that connection before you can take it on the field.

"He trusted me enough to just let it rip this past Sunday. And it was fun. We had a blast out there all day, driving up and down the field, getting points and playing loose."

Tremble was one of four top receivers for Young in last Sunday's 33-30 loss to the Packers. Wide receivers DJ Chark Jr. (six catches for 98 yards and two touchdowns), Adam Thielen (six catches for 94 yards), and Ihmir Smith-Marsette (one catch for 18 yards and two rushes for 33 yards and one touchdown) also had big days as Young completed 23 of 35 passes for a career-high 312 yards.

"I was happy with how everyone was clicking," Tremble said. "I know we didn't get the win that we wanted, but Adam was balling, D.J. was balling and Ihmir was balling. Basically, everyone was doing their thing, and I think Bryce had an outlet to dish the ball to everyone, which was the best feeling of the season."

A 6-foot-4, 250-pounder, Tremble was a third-round draft pick out of Notre Dame in 2021 who grew into a special teams standout and reliable blocker for each of his three seasons with the Panthers.

He has been solid each season as a pass-catcher, with 20 receptions for 180 yards and one touchdown in 16 games in 2021, 19 receptions for 174 yards and three touchdowns in 17 games in 2022, and 20 receptions for 177 yards and three touchdowns this season.

His success doesn't surprise teammates like fellow tight end Ian Thomas or his interim Panthers head coach Chris Tabor, who has coached him on Carolina's special teams units.

"I think it's something he's always been able to do, and it's just now showing on Sundays," Thomas said of Tremble. "Everybody is excited because he gets to showcase his talent. But it wasn't surprising for us.

"Hopefully, we keep it going the next two weeks."

Tremble had two receptions for 32 yards the previous week in the 9-7 home win over the Atlanta Falcons. That included a 19-yard first down catch that moved Carolina from its own 6 to the 25 on the second play of the game-winning 17-play, 90-yard drive.

"I think he's really grown," Tabor said of Tremble. "I said that in a special teams meeting about six weeks ago because you just saw things even before all the catches (he's had recently). You were seeing things in our area, and in the offense that he was doing, that showed he was growing.

"I'm really pleased with him. He's been very effective when the ball is in his hands."

View photos from the Panthers' practice on Wednesday.

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