The Carolina Panthers are entering the Bryce Young era with Andy Dalton as a positive veteran presence. Usually, situations like these have the chance to go south as the veteran isn't willing to let the young potential star take his place. But in Carolina, the 35-year-old Dalton is ready to help develop the 2023 NFL Draft's top selection.
Dalton believes he is still good enough to start but is humbly taking on the role of mentor for Young, according to David Newton of ESPN. The Panthers are taking it slow with Young and have leaned on Dalton to be a steady placeholder and mentor. So far, so good.
“I definitely think that I'm still one of the 32 [best] guys out there,” Dalton said, via ESPN. “But I know that's not the position I'm in. My whole goal is to kind of be the example and … not necessarily set the standard but show how it’s supposed to be done…But for me, personally, I’m going in with the mindset of I want to show everybody the type of player that I am.”
Young gets more reps than Dalton with the first-team offense but Dalton is slated as the starter under center for the Panthers. Head coach Frank Reich is extremely pleased with his veteran and how his rookie is so willing to learn from him. To make matters better, Young seems to be doing pretty well.
“Bryce has learned from him, not just by listening to him in the meeting room but by watching him,” Reich said, via ESPN. “Anybody who talks to Bryce knows…he’s immediately intellectually your equal. But Andy has a lot of experience, and what I love about Andy is he’s not overdoing it. He has that perfect balance of just enough but not too much.”
Andy Dalton is far from the Pro Bowler he used to be but he's still decently productive. Last season in 14 games with the New Orleans Saints, Dalton completed 66.7 percent of his passes and threw for 2,871 yards and 18 touchdowns. He still may be good enough to win the starting job on a number of teams. But for right now, his job is to get Bryce Young ready for the big time.