‘Ready to get to work’: Bryce Young talks earning respect, opportunity to grow with Panthers
Carolina chose Young with the top-overall pick in this year’s draft on Thursday night.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - For the first time since being drafted No. 1 overall, Carolina Panthers top pick Bryce Young spoke to the media in Charlotte on Friday.
The 5-feet, 10-inch tall quarterback started the press conference by thanking the Panthers for taking a chance on him with the first selection, but also talked about his desire to earn the respect of his teammates early on.
“I want to do everything I can to earn the respect of my peers and the guys in the locker room,” Young said. “I’m super grateful for what’s happening in my past and, you know, in for being selected where I was, but I know that doesn’t entitle me to anything. You know, it’s on me to prove myself to show up every day and work and earn the respect of the people around me.”
Young’s leadership both on and off the field was a trait that was intriguing to many scouts around the league, however, his eagerness to continue learning and growing as a player also shone through in his initial Charlotte media appearance.
“I feel like it’s a great opportunity for me to learn, for me to grow,” he said Friday. “I’m super excited for the growth that I’m going to be able to have…for me, I’m going to be trying to be a sponge and come in and soak it all in.”
The 2021 Heisman-winning player was perhaps the most NFL-ready quarterback in this year’s draft, and his collegiate resume showed he could put up the numbers the Panthers have been dying for over the past few seasons.
Related: ‘Bryce Young is the best player’: Panthers head coach, general manager discuss top pick
Since owner David Tepper bought the Panthers in 2018, they’ve gone through a revolving door at quarterback. Cam Newton. Kyle Allen. Teddy Bridgewater. Sam Darnold. Baker Mayfield. P.J. Walker. The list goes on.
Now, after securing the first-overall pick, Tepper’s franchise hopes the tide can turn in what has been a futile quarterback search.
In two seasons, and 27 games as the starter at Alabama, Young passed for exactly 8,200 yards and 79 touchdowns.
Over the past seasons, a full 34 games, the Panthers as a team haven’t come close to matching those numbers, throwing for just over 6,200 yards, despite playing several more games.
Despite many viewing Young as the long-awaited savior of the Carolina Panthers, he isn’t taking any of it for granted.
“This is opportunity that I don’t take lightly, I don’t take for granted,” he said. “This is a huge blessing. I’m super excited to get to work and super grateful my parents and everyone who made this possible for me. And again, I couldn’t be more ecstatic to be a Carolina Panther, and I’m ready to get to work.”
Moments after making the pick, Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer and head coach Frank Reich spoke to the media, detailing the plan for Young’s progression leading up to the start of the season.
“He’ll have to earn it,” Reich said of the starting position. “We’ll know when the right time is, it will be a decision that Scott and I and the coaching staff will continue to look at...I just want him to come in and learn the offense and not worry about stepping into the limelight…when we step out onto the field the first time, he’ll be in that number-two spot and then we’ll just progress from there.”
Based on Reich comments, it appears that veteran free-agent signing Andy Dalton is in line to take the first snaps of OTAs and minicamp.
Young’s first on-field action will come in mid-May when the Panthers hold rookie minicamp.
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