SPARTANBURG, S.C. — Rookie quarterback Bryce Young finally showed visible frustration in training camp, but not so much that Carolina Panthers coach Frank Reich was concerned.
The frustration came near the end of Saturday’s practice when Young couldn’t get a play off before the whistle after moving the offense into scoring position in a two-minute drill.
The top pick of the 2023 NFL draft put his hands on the sides of his helmet and shook his head as the defense celebrated the stop. It was a rare moment for a player Reich and Carolina players consistently have said never gets rattled.
“He’s really harder on himself more than anybody,” Reich said after one of the longest and hottest practices of camp. “A quarterback, you’ve just got to be unflappable. And I think we all know Bryce has that gene. Nothing really changes his pulse.
“But yet, he’s the ultimate competitor, he’s got that drive to be great. So that’s what you want.”
That Young waited that long to show frustration actually was impressive. On a day when he completed 7 of 15 passes, there were three drops — two in the end zone — and multiple pre-snap penalties that led to the defense winning the day.
There also were a few times when it appeared a receiver ran the wrong route, and more than the normal amount of balls thrown high and out of bounds.
“As a competitor … we all get frustrated,” Young said. “But we have to do a better job of bringing stuff back and really stepping back and making sure that even if it’s not our day, for one period or one play, we’re able to flip the script.
“We didn’t do a good enough job of that today. But that’s what training camp is for.”
On the two-minute drive, everything was going as planned, but the offense still needed a touchdown, according to the script. So Reich called one of his “specialty plays” that turned out anything but special.
“I haven’t talked to him yet, but I think he was expecting somebody to do something different than what they did,” Reich said of Young. “Then I ended up blowing the whistle a little early because it didn’t quite develop and I didn’t want to see a big collision in the end zone.”
Then came the frustration, slightly more animated than the day before when Young threw a football into the ground on a day in which he was under more duress than normal.
Young said the key when moments like this happen is to “embrace it and funnel it.”
“There are only two options at a certain point,” Young said. “Are you going to let it dwell? Or are you going to let it affect you the next play? Or are you going to move on and get better? And the only thing you can do is focus on the next rep.
“So you’re constantly turning the page.”
In the end, Young said, “There’s a lot of things I’ve got to do better.”