Frank Reich: Playing Andy Dalton could limit Bryce Young’s exposure to a short distance

Frank Reich: Playing Andy Dalton could limit Bryce Young's exposure to a short distance

During Monday night’s game, the Panthers took starting quarterback Bryce Young twice and replaced him with Andy Dalton in short-yardage situations. That led to questions about whether coach Frank Reich was concerned about the diminutive Young getting hurt while the quarterback was offside.

Reich was asked about that and said he thinks Young can sneak in if he needs to, but acknowledged it would be good to limit Young’s exposure to injuries in the pile-up.

“Some of these things you just want to limit Bryce’s exposure to,” Reich said. “Bryce can do any of that, but you have an experienced veteran. There’s no golden rule that says he can’t come in and make multiple plays in a game. Look what the Saints did. I know Taysom Hill is a different story, but why don’t we do it?” To a lesser extent if it can be used in a positive way?

Dalton didn’t actually sneak the ball on any of his plays. One play, fourth-and-1, was overturned for a foul play penalty, and on the other play, third-and-1, Dalton took advantage of the defense anticipating a quarterback sneak and instead turned the ball over to Miles. Sanders, who ran for five yards. But putting Dalton at short yardage seems to indicate that if the Panthers are going to run at quarterback, Reich would prefer Dalton do it.

Reich said he’s made similar quarterback swaps in the past, noting that he used a backup quarterback for short yardage during his time with the Colts as well.

“This is by no means unprecedented,” Reich said. “We had Jacoby Brissett, and we brought him in some shortstop situations.”

This seems to be the approach Reich will continue to take, with maybe getting Dalton a snap or two a game when the Panthers want to sneak it, or making the defense think they might sneak it, and not putting Young in a situation where he’s being smothered by 300-pound linemen .

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