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Saving Bryce Young

As Jesus passed by, he saw a man blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”


Many of you have been asking me this same question. “Galileo, who sinned, this man or his coaches & teammates, that he plays like he is blind?”


Everyone.


Everyone on the Panthers has sinned and fallen short of the glory of the Number 1 Overall Pick.

 

Bryce Young's rookie season was abysmal. People don't often discuss how bad it was. The Panthers were not the worst team in 2022. They traded up to get the top pick. They were 7-10 in 2022. Competing for a division title. Bryce's "NFL-ready" talent was supposed to push them over the top. Instead, the entire franchise took a major step back.


The Panthers roster was certainly terrible. Tepper managed to support his investment by evacuating the receiving talent and ignoring the offensive line. "If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit." The pass protection was particularly comical. The Panthers played one of the easiest schedules imaginable, and they never had control at any point of any game. At any moment, the opposing defensive coordinator could call a stunt or blitz and the offensive line would be thrown in to utter confusion. JV caliber pass pro.


Here's a quick picture of how simple it was for defenses to crush Bryce. When the OL can't block four rushers, you can drop into deep zones and chill. Jacksonville runs a simple double twist stunt. Josh Allen (41) splits his G/T double team with ease. The center fails to do anything to stop the wrapping defender, and Bryce is swallowed up under 3 seconds.



3rd & Long was a nightmare for Bryce all season. Bryce had enough courage in the moment. He didn't rush his process or panic in his reads very often. But he consistently failed to provide a solution. He was wholly dependent on his offensive line for success. At Alabama, Bryce's mobility & pocket skill were enough to overcome his small stature. Those traits simply vanished in the NFL. He was a sitting duck. Too slow to escape and too small to survive an arm tackle. If the defense could get a hand on him, he was going down.


There weren't many moments of anxiety in the 5 games I reviewed. But here's an example. The CB blitzes and Thielen is as open as you can be in the NFL. If Bryce settles, he can easily punish the playcall and drop it to the sideline for a first down. Instead, he folds as soon as he sees the CB flash. DCs feed on this panic. You're not going to make it if you're automatically throwing it away in this scenario.




Mundane moments indicate a lack of playmaking ability. Kyler can be 5'5" because he's 5'5" AND lightning fast. Bryce is not. Kyler turns it on and burns this pursuing defensive lineman for a first down. Bryce cannot. There were so many nothing-burgers in this offense, because the quarterback lacks the raw tools to be truly creative.



Bryce compounded this lack of physical ability with poor pocket awareness/pass rush management.


We're in the final quarter of the season against Green Bay. He's had time to adjust to NFL speed. He's taken 50 sacks already. There's no reason for Bryce to be taking this sack. He sees the edge rusher chasing him. It's not a surprise, it's just horribly managed. It's 1st down. No one is open. He's not lingering for the sake of a juicy opportunity. He's outside of the tackle box. He's got two shallow targets whose feet he can throw at. Instead, Bryce dilly-dallies and dumps his team to 2 & 16.




Bryce was a quality thrower outside the pocket in college. In 2023, he was as inconsistent as any backup-caliber passer. Even if he did manage to escape, he refused to finish the play. Gets away from Parsons (11) only to throw it into the dirt.



These are easy plays and he just chokes em. Infuriating.



Throw the Ball in Bounds to Save the Franchise Challenge (impossible).


Seriously, just keep the ball in bounds.



It's not going to be any easier than this. There's no one else to blame here.



At some point you realize, you can't keep blaming everyone else. Yeah the O-Line sucked. Yeah the receivers sucked, but guess what, Bryce Young sucked too. This man's sin is all over the tape.


In addition to missing wide open throws from clean pockets and on the move, Bryce also routinely put the ball in poor locations when working the flats. Unfortunately, this is a shortness thing. And it's bad bad.


Throwing Adam Thielen back to the line of scrimmage for a zero yard gain.



Blooping his checkdowns. Unjustifiable.


This is why things never seem to tilt in Carolina's favor. Always 2 & 9 instead of 2 & 5. Death by missed free throws, but you were down 30 anyways so everybody forgot you couldn't buy a bucket.

 

“Go,” He told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam." So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.


Your eyes will need to be washed after watching the Carolina film. Bryce washed out the entire coaching staff in one year. So let's look for hope.


Bryce's mobility does flash every once in a while (by that, I mean this one time in this one game, but hey it's there). He is capable of delivering from a full sprint.


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