Is Todd Bowles being overly generous before he curb stomps a division rival, or is he playing 4D chess psychological warfare on the Carolina Panthers? I’m inclined to believe it’s the former, because the Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach doesn’t seem capable of such gamesmanship.
Bowles is an exotic defensive schemer, but a competitive, calculated media strategist he is not. So he must actually believe Bryce Young will be an all-time great by the time he’s finished playing in the NFL.
Todd Bowles today on Bryce Young: "A lot of poise. One of the best scramblers I've seen this year. A lot of poise. He's going to be one of the best to ever do it once he's done playing. I believe he's a very good quarterback."
So much of one’s success in the NFL is predicated on where one lands. And Young had the misfortune of landing in Carolina, with an owner in David Tepper who’s launching drinks at opposing fans because he can’t contain his frustration amid a 2-14 season.
this owner could have had the #1 draft pick next year OR could have tried to acquire MVP Lamar Jackson
instead he traded two 1st round picks & DJ Moore to draft Bryce Young…
What’s worse, the Panthers would’ve had the No. 1 overall pick this year. They lost that asset in their hyper-aggressive move to trade up for Young in last year’s draft.
So beyond all the dysfunction happening at the very top in Carolina, head coach Frank Reich was fired during the season after a 1-10 start. It hasn’t gotten a heck of a lot better for Young since then. The former Heisman Trophy winner and Alabama star has a dearth of skill position talent to work with, not to mention a bad offensive line.
For someone so small, I’m genuinely impressed by how Young can take a beating.
Most of the questions on Bryce Young concerned his durability. That was before he was sacked more than any rookie QB but David Carr. “He just pops back up,” said a Panthers OL. On Young’s physical and mental toughness during a trying year: https://t.co/mN9TZVuI6b
But I also question Bowles’ evaluation skills in this instance. What has he been watching that leads him to believe Young is thatdude? While I’m far from writing the young man off, he has such a chill, laidback, soft-spoken vibe that I feel like needs a fiery personality at head coach to light a flame under him. Sure, Young is pretty accurate, but his arm strength is marginal by NFL standards, and his ability to scramble around and improvise the way he did in college hasn’t been the same at the professional level. The athletes are better, and for someone who’s supposed to elevate an entire organization, Young looks more like a guy who needs a lot of help to thrive as a franchise QB.
Hey, we’ll see what happens. I just don’t see how Carolina will have the necessary resources to provide Young with much help in 2024. It could be another season of massive losing, which would raise further questions about the Panthers’ decision to pass on Houston Texans star C.J. Stroud. Imagine if Anthony Richardson balls out for the Colts in his return from injury, too.
The trade for Young is dangerously teetering on “worst trade in NFL Draft history” status. I distinguish it from “worst NFL trade” on purpose because, well, that title looks like it’ll go to the Broncos’ move to land Russell Wilson, who’s been benched. Wilson will likely be cut this offseason at the behest of Sean Payton after two bad years in Denver.
Speaking of reckless sports takes, we’ve all had them from time to time. I thought Zach Wilson would be amazing. Hand up. Wrong on that. But speaking of Stroud, it’s stunning that my childhood sportswriting hero Bill Simmons would use the heuristic of “initialed QB names” to write off Stroud as a bust.
Never forget that Bill Simmons said this about C.J. Stroud before the season: “I’m locking in Stroud as a bust.”
I guess Bowles’ take on Young is the most reckless among active players or coaches that I’ve heard in my lifetime. If we’re talking media personalities, this one from Skippy Bayless is a doozy that may never be topped.
Johnny Football will one day be bigger in Cleveland than his buddy LeBron ever was.