Good or bad, just about every NFL play has a lot of moving parts. As for Bryce Young’s first bad one, things were moving away from him—and it wasn’t necessarily his fault.
Head coach Frank Reich spoke with reporters on Monday, following his team’s season-opening loss to the Atlanta Falcons. He started by taking responsibility for his rookie quarterback’s first career interception, which came with the offense backed up deep into their own territory.
“I will say on the turnover—yesterday I mentioned to you guys it’s not always what you appear like,” he said. “On the first interception, I put a lot of that interception on me. We got in a bad position. We got the OPI called, and then so we’re backed up. And then we get a delay of game call. And that delay of game was 100 percent on me. I had a miscommunication with Bryce. That miscommunication was 100 percent on me and it caused the delay of game. So, puts us even more backed up and put us in a bad position. So that one’s on me.”
That one, which was preceded by a delay of game penalty, came on a second-and-16 spot from Carolina’s 16-yard line. Young, while looking for his tight end Hayden Hurst over the middle, was picked off by Falcons safety Jessie Bates III—a giveaway that set up the first touchdown of the afternoon.
Lightning would then strike for a second time in the third quarter—as Bates, on a nearly identical play, intercepted Young on a pass intended for wideout Terrace Marshall Jr. Reich even took some of the blame off the 22-year-old for that mistake as well.
“I would say—that one, too—if I were saying it wasn’t 100 percent on Bryce,” he added. “There was a little something in the play that broke down. It was a small breakdown in the play that could’ve affected it. But again, we just have to execute better overall.”
Young finished the outing having completed 20 of his 38 attempts for 146 yards.