No pressure at all for Bryce Young.
We’re seeing all sorts of NFL schedule leaks ahead of tonight’s official announcement. And now we know when Young, the top pick of the draft, first gets to experience prime time. Try the second game of the season as the Carolina Panthers entertain the New Orleans Saints for Monday Night Football.
Joe Person, the Carolina beat writer for The Athletic, broke the news. As he pointed out, Bryce Young gets to enjoy his first regular season game at Bank of America Stadium and his MNF debut all at once. (Conversely, it’ll be Derek Carr’s MNF debut with the Saints).
Now, let’s add this caveat. We’re assuming that the Panthers, who traded up to draft Bryce Young, will start the youngster. But who knows, maybe new Carolina coach Frank Reich will start journeyman Andy Dalton or Jacob Eason, possibly Matt Corral. Or, he trots out Young, the future, the moment the future kicks off.
Reich is letting everybody know he’s going full gas with Young, even if he’s not currently listed as QB1. That’s just a detail. He was bragging on the former Heisman Trophy winner during an interview with Peter King. Reich recalled Young’s answers after the Panthers brought in the quarterback during a 30 visit in early April. The two were discussing play calls from old Alabama games. The coach wanted to know why Young called a specific (complicated) protection against Tennessee. And know that the call was from Young’s second ever game with the Crimson Tide.
Color Reich impressed by Bryce Young, as he dropped some major names.
“That play just confirmed everything we were thinking and already know,” Reich said. “Just confirmed the level of football IQ he has that’s on par with Peyton (Manning), (Matt) Ryan, (Philip) Rivers, (Andrew) Luck.
“I’m telling you: There are quarterbacks in the NFL who haven’t done what he did right there,” Reich told King. And he did it easily in his true freshman year in college. To have the confidence to make that call for Alabama in his second college game. Unreal.”
But maybe the Panthers do sit Bryce Young to start the season. Carolina GM Scott Fitterer told reporters the team signed Dalton to help make Young’s transition from Bama to the NFL a little less frantic.
“If Andy’s the guy to start the season,” Fitterer said. “And he’s the starter right now heading into the season, then he’ll be the guy. When Bryce is ready or Matt Corral is ready whoever it may be, that’ll be the time they go in. We say it’s open competition, but Frank did say, ‘Hey, Andy’s he’s our guy right now. He’ll walk into the season as the starter and then as you know, the young guys compete underneath him, then they’ll go in when they’re ready.”
We’re betting Monday Night Football would prefer Bryce Young. However, TV may schedule games, but the networks don’t choose the starting lineup.