CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Carolina Panthers have elevated rookie Bryce Younger to the No. 1 quarterback spot, a transfer coach Frank Reich mentioned Thursday is “the subsequent step” within the high choose of this yr’s draft turning into the Week 1 starter.
Whereas Younger, as deliberate, had gotten extra reps than veteran Andy Dalton with the primary workforce through the first two weeks of voluntary offseason exercises, Dalton was listed because the starter and commenced every drill with the primary unit.
That modified this week because the 2021 Heisman Trophy winner continued to indicate he had earned the respect of teammates and carried out at a degree worthy of getting first-team reps.
“It is simply the subsequent step,” Reich mentioned. “We had a few weeks to look at Andy. Andy has continued to carry out at a really excessive degree. We’re simply making an attempt to get our workforce prepared. Every thing is about what’s finest for our workforce, and so this was simply the subsequent step.”
Reich mentioned that 5-foot-10, 204-pound Younger will proceed to get the first-team reps throughout subsequent week’s three-day obligatory camp and that Dalton will proceed to work with the second workforce.
He famous this was the timeline he and common supervisor Scott Fitterer mapped out for the transfer after making Younger the highest choose.
Large receiver DJ Chark, who was on the receiving finish of one among Younger’s patented deep passes Thursday, mentioned Younger has been “implausible” and has earned the respect of “everybody within the locker room.”
“Everyone is right here for him,” Chark mentioned. “And we consider he can take us to some actually excessive locations.”
Chark mentioned the way in which the group has surrounded Younger with a veteran offensive line, introduced in confirmed offensive weapons corresponding to himself and put him with a veteran teaching employees has made this “a match made in heaven for [Young].”
Younger mentioned being elevated to No. 1 will not change his method, which has been to exit every day and get higher and earn the respect of teammates.
“For me, it is about incomes it,” Younger mentioned. “I am grateful to have the chance that I’ve. I nonetheless suppose it is a course of. I am grateful to be accepted by the workforce. It is a tremendous locker room, an amazing group of fellows. I wish to proceed with that.
“It isn’t one thing you are simply entitled to.”
Reich did not inform Younger in regards to the transfer to No. 1 till the tip of final week after they started discussing this week’s plan.
“We might have shifted it, we might have moved it up,” he mentioned of the timeline. “I actually did not wish to transfer it up as a result of I assumed issues had been going the way in which we needed.
“On the finish of final week, I pulled Bryce apart and Andy and simply mentioned, ‘Hey, we talked about this from the start. You guys are doing it precisely like we needed. We’re gonna make this swap and transfer ahead.'”
And whereas the plan is to have Younger able to be the Week 1 starter at Atlanta, Reich is not able to make that official till after he has seen Younger carry out in pads throughout coaching camp.
“He is exhibiting all the things you wish to see,” Reich mentioned. “However this goes again to even the draft choice. We do not have to decide till it’s important to make it.
“So, we’ll simply maintain giving him, and our workforce, the chance to get higher and to earn that beginning function. Up to now, he and lots of guys have taken the step wanted to earn that spot.”