Miles Sanders, who recently played in the Super Bowl with another past Tide star in Jalen Hurts, already sent the early message ahead of 2023 training camp regarding the quality of QB Young has shown him and his new team. Young isn’t just bringing a strong sense of confidence, but the NFC champion running back believes the Carolina Panthers are in strong shape moving forward.
“He’s cocky in a humble way. The humblest way. He knows who he is. I think we’re in good hands,” Sanders told the Mac & Bone Podcast on WFNZ 92.7 FM on Friday, July 14.
How Good Can Carolina Become With Sanders & Young?
There’s a new set of expectations in Charlotte with the Panthers now turning to Frank Reich as head coach, plus rolling with Young.
For the past Heisman Trophy winner, Young is being given the task to elevate a team that not only went 7-10 last season, but has endured the following:
- Cycle through four different head coaches since 2019 (Ron Rivera, Perry Fewell as an interim, Matt Rhule and Steve Wilks on an interim basis).
- Has missed the playoffs in the last five seasons.
- Ended up finishing at the bottom of the NFC South standings twice in the last four seasons.
So, how good can the Panthers become with Sanders handling the backfield reins and Young helping feed him and the other Panthers the football?
“I believe we can be as good as we can put our minds to it,” Sanders said on the podcast. “People will say we look good on paper or we got a lot of talent, and a lot of young talent. Got some vets on the team too. But, you really create a championship team between OTAs and training camp. But I’ve got a good feeling about these guys. These guys work and that’s the main thing I noticed in OTAs.”
As for Young, again Sanders is a believer that the ‘Bama star is walking into an ideal situation especially with who else is in the QB room.
“We have a very, very good young quarterback who’s being mentored by a future Hall of Famer in Andy Dalton,” Sanders said.
Sanders Shares What Else Has Caught His Attention About Young
Furthermore, Sanders not only used a strong adverb to describe Young, but also gave props to the man who helped mold him in Tuscaloosa.
“The guy is a sharp guy,” Sanders said of Young. “But kudos to Nick Saban and what he’s doing at Alabama. He’s doing a heck of a job.”
Tracing back to Young, Sanders gave a brief description of what he’s seen so far out of the incoming rookie passer.
“He’s there early and the last one leaving,” Sanders first described. “But the main thing I’ve noticed is his game is his pocket presence. It’s amazing to me and he’s got a quick release. And he makes smart decisions too, so he doesn’t really force passes and he’s got a soft touch…a lovely touch on the ball.”
Last season during the run to the NFC title, the 2022 Pro Bowler tallied 1,269 yards and scored 11 touchdowns while Hurts finished second with 760 ground-based yards and 13 rushing touchdowns. Carolina will aim to recreate some offensive explosion with Young, Sanders and the veteran offensive whiz Reich this fall.