Carolina Panthers head coach Frank Reich took the air out of what would have been the team's biggest training camp story -- its starting quarterback position for Week 1 -- between 2023 No. 1 pick Bryce Young and 12-year NFL veteran Andy Dalton, whom the the team signed to a two-year, $10 million deal this offseason.
Even though new Panthers Pro Bowl running back Miles Sanders has called Dalton " ," and Dalton himself said "there aren't 32 [quarterbacks] better than me" this offseason, Reich has made the determination that Young is better suited for the Panthers starting quarterback job after one training camp practice.
"Yes, he's QB1,'' Reich said Wednesday after the first day of Panthers training camp.
The Panthers traded 2023 first- and second-round picks, a 2024 first-round pick, a 2025 second-round pick, and wide receiver DJ Moore to the Chicago Bears in exchange for the No. 1 selection, which they used to take Young out of Alabama. Reich isn't shocked by how the 2021 Heisman Trophy winner has established himself as the guy this early in camp.
"I always felt like [general manager] Scott [Fitterer] and I, the coaching staff, imagined and saw the vision when we decided to pick Bryce that we would be standing here today saying he's QB1."
Young said being named starting quarterback "means a lot" and is a "huge blessing," but it won't change his approach as he prepares for the 2023 campaign.
Young made clear Wednesday after learning the "competition" is over and that he won that the status won't change his preparation for his rookie year.
"I respect the coaches and I want to do whatever I can to play whatever role it is I'm called on to help the team. So that means a lot [being named the starting quarterback]. For me, it's making sure I take things day by day. It doesn't change my approach. I want to keep improving, keep growing.''