Steve Smith Sr. Doesn’t Hold Back His Thoughts On Bryce Young

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Written By Maya Cantina

(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

Quarterback Bryce Young was the No. 1 pick in last year’s NFL draft, and despite his modest stature, the consensus was that he was the best prospect available that year.

Unfortunately, he struggled mightily as a rookie, and so did his Carolina Panthers, who finished with the league’s worst record.

Former NFL star and current NFL Network analyst Steve Smith Sr. said that he attributes Young’s struggles more to his situation in Carolina than his own shortcomings, per RG3 and The Ones.

“At the end of the day a smart kid can look dumb if he’s around a lot of dumb people,” Smith said.

Young threw for 2,877 yards, 11 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions while completing just 59.8 percent of his pass attempts in 2023, despite putting up prolific numbers in his last two seasons at the University of Alabama.

But it is very important for rookie quarterbacks to not only have dependable skill players but to also be in a stable situation where they have the right coaching staff.

One’s development in life, whether he or she is an athlete or not, is heavily dependent on the people around him or her, and the situation in Carolina wasn’t exactly the most conducive to his success.

Head coach Frank Reich got fired after 11 games, and the team had an overall lack of viable skill players, other than wide receiver Adam Thielen.

Besides Thielen, no one on the Panthers reached 50 receptions or 600 receiving yards, and they ended up ranking last in passing yards.

What made the situation seem even worse was the fact that QB C.J. Stroud, who went at pick No. 2 to the Houston Texans, had a whale of a year while leading the Texans to a divisional-round playoff appearance.

But Smith still seems sold on Young’s potential, as he noted that Young’s processing speed is faster than that of Stroud, and that is something that simply cannot be taught.

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