The Carolina Panthers moved No. 1 overall draft pick Bryce Young to the top quarterback spot on the depth chart, but coach Frank Reich stopped short Thursday of naming the rookie his Week 1 starter
Until now, veteran Andy Dalton, an offseason signee, had been listed as the starter and took the opening reps with the first unit in voluntary offseason workouts, though Young also worked with the first team. But Reich told reporters that Young has impressed him enough to make the change.
"It's just the next step," Reich said. "We had a couple of weeks to watch Andy. Andy has continued to perform at a very high level. We're just trying to get our team ready. Everything is about what's best for our team, and so this was just the next step."
The first-year coach isn't ready to hand Young the starting job until he sees more from him, however.
"He's showing everything you want to see," Reich said. "But this goes back to even the draft decision. We don't have to make a decision until you have to make it."
Reich said this is the timeline that he and general manager Scott Fitterer envisioned when they drafted Young, the Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback from Alabama. During mandatory camp next week, Young will take the first-team reps and the 35-year-old Dalton will lead the second unit.
Young, who turns 22 next month, said he won't change his approach.
"For me, it's about earning it," Young said. "I'm grateful to have the opportunity that I have. I still think it's a process. I'm grateful to be accepted by the team. It's an amazing locker room, a great group of guys. I want to continue with that.
"It's not something you're just entitled to."
--Field Level Media