Panthers Notebook: Bryce Young Takes Beating, Interim coach Chris Tabor Hopes Rooke QB Keeps Advancing

panthers bryce young under pressure from bucs (1)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Under pressure, Carolina Panthers rookie Bryce Young rolled out of the pocket Sunday and looked for one of his receivers to create separation from their coverage, which, like many times this season, never developed. 

Escaping from converging pass rushers, Young’s options dwindled quickly. He harmlessly threw the ball away. 

Following Sunday’s 21-18 loss to the host Tampa Bay Buccaneers last Sunday, the Panthers dropped to an NFL-worst 1-11. For Young, the 2021 Heisman Trophy recipient, losing is a unique experience. 

With consistent pass-protection problems, Young has been sacked 44 times in 11 starts. His passer rating of 73.1 ranks 34th in the league, one spot below much-maligned New York Jets QB Zach Wilson (73.8). 

Young’s first-year struggles are common.  

Here’s a look at the W-L records of other rookie QBs who were first-overall draft picks: 

Season, Player, NFL Record 

  • 1998, Peyton Manning, 3-13.
  • 2020, Joe Burrow, 2-7-1.
  • 2021, Trevor Lawrence, 3-14. 

Interim coach Chris Tabor said Monday the experience, while tough, will pay off down the road.  

“Obviously, he’s going through a tough time like we all are,” Tabor said at Bank of America Stadium. “You don’t sign up for this. You don’t sign up and say, ‘Boy after 12 games I’d like to be 1-11.’ Does anyone want to sign up for that?  

“But he’s a tough-minded kid. He cares. He’s a pro. I think this is helping him mature even faster than probably you would think. He’s going to be just fine. He’s a good football player and a great person. So I think those qualities right there are going to allow him to be really good in this league.” 

OC Thomas Brown Retains Chris Tabor’s Play-Calling Confidence

The Panthers still had a chance to knock off the Buccaneers on Sunday. Down three points with 2:27 to go in the fourth quarter, Young faced a 3-and-1 situation from the Panthers’ 40-yard line. Considering running back Chuba Hubbard amassed the offense’s first 100-yard rushing performance of the season, the play call seemed obvious.

But Thomas Brown, in the first game calling plays after fired coach Frank Reich handed the rookie offensive coordinator the responsibility following an 0-6 start, then took them away three games later, opted for a pass. It fell incomplete.

On fourth down, Brown again called for a pass. It was intercepted.

Tabor was asked if he questioned Brown on why he decided against going with Hubbard. The Panthers compiled 133 rushing yards Sunday.

“I have no problem with the calls there,” Tabor said. “I have a lot of confidence in the guys. We didn’t get it done.”

Chris Tabor Gets ‘Double Cheeseburger’

Before his debut as interim coach Sunday against the Buccaneers, Tabor was asked by an on-field official if he needed another.

Since taking over for Reich on Nov. 27, Tabor has attempted to keep the atmosphere light, telling media he is advising the players to have “fun,” despite the constant losing.

Tabor’s free-flowing attitude transferred to the field. His pre-game reply to the official was comical as it was honest: “I’m kind of hungry. I could use a double cheeseburger.”

Did Tabor ever get his game-day cheeseburger?

You bet.

“And it was good,” he said.

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