CHARLOTTE, N.C. — All eyes were on Bryce Young as the Carolina Panthers kicked off OTAs Monday.
Because the Panthers hired a new head coach, they're among the handful of teams that got started a week before the rest of the league. The other teams starting this week include the Arizona Cardinals, Denver Broncos, Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts.
Bryce Young is a fast learner
Young, the No. 1 overall draft pick who looked good during rookie minicamp earlier this month, again earned high praise for head coach Frank Reich.
"It was 10 out of 10," Reich said, regarding Young's handling of the offensive huddle during practice.
Veteran Andy Dalton, who signed with the team during free agency, has been taking the first reps so far. Dalton knows the situation, though, telling reporters it will be Young's team sooner or later. The former Bengals star likes what he's seeing from the rookie, too.
"His understanding of football is really high level," Dalton said. "You can tell early on that he's got it."
Reich said it's important for Young to watch Dalton to get a feel for how he handles things. That's why Dalton takes the first reps, with Young coming in and taking the majority of snaps with the first-team offense. Dalton credited Young for pointing out an incorrectly labeled play or formation during Monday's practice.
Matt Corral on possible trades, backing up Bryce Young
To say Matt Corral's rookie season was frustrating would be an understatement. He missed the entire regular season with a foot injury he suffered in the preseason and then Matt Rhule, the coach who drafted him, was fired.
At one point, there were reports that the team would be willing to trade Corral, who they took in the third round in the 2022 draft. For what it's worth, Corral said Monday he's looking forward to working with Josh McCown and Reich, both of whom played in the NFL.
"Personally if it was up to me I wouldn't want to get traded," Corral said.
Corral also said he's known Bryce Young since middle school, when the two were climbing the prep ranks in southern California.
"You've got to have perspective and it's all about controlling what you can control," he said. "That's why I'm happy. I'm blessed."
Panthers OTAs are scheduled to run through Wednesday before picking back up May 31 through June 2, and a final period of June 5 through 8. The team will then have a mandatory minicamp in mid-June before breaking until training camp in July.
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