There was internal Panthers discourse about benching Bryce Young
Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper made the bold decision to fire Frank Reich after less than a full season at the helm as head coach of the team. With the team tallying just one win so far this season and without a 2024 first-round draft pick to show for their poor record, the reaction may have been justified.
Bubbling up to the decision were disagreements between Reich and his owner as well as Reich and his coaching staff, evidently.
We already know that Reich was approached by the front office about incorporating more RPOs to play to Bryce Young's strengths, a request he turned down. Now, we also know that some in the coaching staff wanted Young to be benched so he could develop behind Andy Dalton, the team's backup quarterback.
Dianna Russini reported this on Sunday in her latest column. She suggests that this stance was something coaches were lobbying for as early as Week 5 (subscription required). Importantly, before calls of "bust" grow in volume, the indications are that coaches weren't soured on Young's potential as an NFL quarterback or his stature as the franchise quarterback, but rather, that they felt the change in perspective and watching a veteran quarterback start week-in and week-out would have been a better mode of learning.
Now, the Panthers are so entrenched with Young as the starter that it feels unlikely to change at this point in the season.
Whether or not Reich was the blockade in benching Young is unclear, but if he was, it's hard to justify his disagreeing stances. He didn't want to incorporate RPOs, which would have played to Young's strengths. If he also didn't want to allow Young some time to learn from the sidelines, it's hard to see how he feels he was setting Young up for success.