Panthers' Bryce Young poised, 'sharp' in 2nd preseason start

The most consistent theme since the Carolina Panthers opened training camp is that rookie quarterback Bryce Young never gets rattled, and that showed again in Friday night's 21-19 preseason loss to the New York Giants.

In a three-play span of his second series, Young, the top pick of the 2023 draft, was sacked, called for a delay-of-game penalty and hit hard again on a 15-yard, third-down completion to tight end Hayden Hurst that was negated by a holding penalty.

The series of miscues forced the Panthers (0-2) to settle for a 37-yard field goal by Matthew Wright after driving to the New York 10-yard line.

But Young never look rattled or uncomfortable, something that also stood out in last week's 27-0 loss to the New York Jets in which he was hit on three of seven dropbacks and produced only one first down in three series.

"I thought Bryce looked sharp," coach Frank Reich said. "Put together a nice drive. Would have liked to have finished if off [with a touchdown]. Obviously, unhappy with the number of penalties we had.

"But I thought Bryce looked sharp. I think he wanted to throw the ball more, but I thought he looked sharp."

Young finished 3-of-6 for 35 yards on two series at MetLife Stadium, making him 7-of-12 for 56 yards in two preseason games.

He should have had at least one more completion, but Jonathan Mingo stopped his route short on a short pass over the middle that appeared on target had the rookie receiver kept running.

Mingo and Young later connected for a 15-yard play that Reich called a good read. He praised Young for making the right protection calls on every blitz the Giants brought.

"He was comfortable and poised in the pocket and seeing what he was supposed to see," Reich said.

On having only 12 pass attempts in two games, Young said, "Limited opportunities, but you've got to make those count."

Young said his biggest leap from the first to the second preseason game was "communication-wise as a unit."

"There's always room for improvement, but we handled that well," Young said. "That's definitely one positive."

Reich was noncommittal on whether Young would play in next week's preseason finale against the Detroit Lions, saying that depended on whether he and the staff believe there's something they need to work on.

Young, when asked if he's ready for the Sept. 10 opener at the Atlanta Falcons, said he would trust whatever the coaches decide, but Reich and teammates appear comfortable with their rookie quarterback.

"He's cool, calm and collective,'' center Bradley Bozeman said on the television broadcast.