May 24, 2024

N.C.’s Charlotte Bryce Young, the rookie quarterback for the Carolina Panthers, claimed he is ready for the Sept. 10 opening at Atlanta in all but one area following Friday night’s preseason finale against the Detroit Lions.

Sliding.

Young received a lot of flak from his teammates for the way he collapsed to the ground at Bank of America Stadium following a third-down scramble of 13 yards that resulted in his first preseason touchdown and a 26-17 defeat.

Young grinned and added, “Never claimed it to be one of my strong suits. There are already scheduled slide lessons for today.

The 2021 Heisman Trophy winner, Young, later acknowledged he never faltered while attending Alabama. It showed, according to backup quarterback Matt Corral.

Young was listening from the next locker when Corral commented, “He’s got to get better at it. “We need to get the tarp, soap, and water out.”

Putting that aside, Young put forth his greatest effort in the preseason, completing 7 of his 12 throws for 73 yards and a touchdown but also scuffling three times for 21 yards. After recording just a field goal in five drives in the first two games, he led two scoring drives to give Carolina a 10-0 lead.

Young thinks he’s prepared for Week 1 based on his performance in three preseason games, where he completed 14 of 24 pass attempts for 129 yards and a touchdown.

Young added, “That comes because my coaches and teammates just gave me the confidence and really pushed me throughout practice.” That helps you prepare a lot, and now that I’ve played these games, it’s amazing to be able to apply that to competing with others.

Young looked crisp for the second straight preseason game, according to Carolina coach Frank Reich, who added that the scrambling on Friday night demonstrated yet another factor in the Panthers’ decision to choose him first overall.

According to Reich, “He was quick and effective and made plays, and he showed even more playmaking ability with his feet, the throw for the touchdown, and another one to Adam [Thielen] that Adam lost in the lights and had a good chance to be completed.

Third down, Young found Thielen for a 16-yard touchdown pass that was perfectly placed in the front-left corner of the end zone. Even though it was against second- and third-team defenders, Young’s precision at Alabama was still evident.

Thielen remarked, “He pretty much caught the football for me.” It’s difficult to stop when you have that type of a combination of touch, precision, and timing. He’s here because of that. That is why he was chosen first overall.

It’s a satisfying feeling to be able to demonstrate it every day.

Overall, Young’s stats against the Lions were better than they were in the first two games. His passer rating increased from 70.1 to 103.8, and he increased his yards per attempt from 4.7 to 6.1.

Better defense played a part. Against the New York Giants last week, 43% of Young’s dropbacks were pressed, compared to 36% in the first two games. On Friday, he was only pressured 23% of the time, but one of those pressures led to a sack.

On Friday night, Young was pressured, but instead of continuing to run to keep the play alive for a pass, he took off running for yards. On two occasions when he ran, it resulted in a first down.

According to Reich, it was encouraging to see Young make plays with his legs and instincts.

“We’ve got to work on his sliding a little bit,” he continued. “But even when a guy has him dead to rights, he has that instinct in him, that make you miss [ability].” That has been demonstrated in practice in small doses.

The slipping has to be perfected next.

Thielen stated, “He got a hard time from a number of folks about that. He’ll be practicing it when he sleeps and dreams, she said.

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