Saturday night lights will shine brightly on Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, as the Carolina Panthers play host to the New York Jets in their preseason opener. But the spotlight won't be on the veterans or the seasoned players; it will be on rookie quarterback Bryce Young.
As announced by Panthers' coach Frank Reich, the top pick of the 2023 NFL draft is set to make his much-anticipated debut.
Reich Plays it Close to the Vest
When asked about Young's playing time in the upcoming match, Coach Reich remained somewhat elusive.
"I do have an idea," he admitted, emphasizing the necessity for adaptability. "There is flexibility in the plan. There has to be. That's just being smart about it. We have a general idea how many plays we want to get through the whole preseason, but that can be adjusted by 10 or 20 percent depending on how things go." While the exact number of snaps or series for Young remains undisclosed, it's clear that the team understands the importance of giving the rookie adequate field experience.
General manager Scott Fitterer emphasized this sentiment on players' reporting day. "We're not going to put him out there before he's ready," Fitterer stated, "But he needs those reps."
Young's Eager Anticipation
The preseason isn't only about game time; Young is also poised to get valuable experience during the joint practices, where he'll be squaring off against an opposing NFL defense for the very first time.
"I'm super excited for that," Young revealed, his enthusiasm palpable. Another highlight for the budding quarterback? The chance to meet football great Rodgers. Bryce Young, like many of his generation, grew up admiring Rodgers' style and technique.
"He's somebody I've watched and studied and looked up to a lot throughout my life," Young confessed. He further elaborated on how he's tried to incorporate elements of Rodgers' gameplay, especially regarding arm angles and off-balance throws, into his own.
"I have a ton of respect for his game." As the Panthers prepare to unveil their prized rookie to the world, fans and analysts alike will be keenly watching. Will Young's NFL journey soar to the anticipated heights, or will there be rookie jitters? One thing is for sure: the upcoming match is set to be an electrifying showcase of new talent and potential.
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