Despite Bryce Young being 1st pick for Panthers, backup QB Andy Dalton confident in himself as an NFL starter: “I view myself as a starter”

After inking a two-year, $11 million contract ahead of the 2023 NFL Draft, the star quarterback Andy Dalton looks set to be seen donning the Carolina Panthers jersey for the time being.

The Panthers recently selected Bryce Young as the first overall pick in the NFL draft and following the selection, speculation arose about the future role of Dalton within the team with many projecting him to accept a permanent backup position, given the talent and potential of the young rookie.

However, the speculations have not fazed the veteran star as he remains steadfast in his belief to be a starting-caliber player in the league.

Panthers backup QB Andy Dalton claims he’s in the top 32 QB

In a recent phone interview with Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Andy expressed his unwavering self-assurance saying he still sees himself as a starter in the NFL despite failing to lead his teams to a winning record since the 2015 season.

“I view myself as a starter in this league; I don’t think there are 32 guys better than me. But this is the situation I am in, and I understand that. As soon as I don’t think I’m one of the best 32, or a little lower, I’ll be watching football on TV.”

The 35-year-old picked an example of Frank Reich to solidify his claim saying many veterans played longer and likewise he still possesses the caliber to shine on the field,

“I am in a really, really good situation here; (head coach) Frank Reich played til he was 38. He was a career backup. He understands the continuity you want in a (quarterback) room. (Panthers quarterbacks coach) Josh McCown played until he was 40. Josh was my friend for the last 10 years, and now he’s my coach.”

The former Pro Bowler was a starting quarterback in 14 games for the New Orleans Saints in 2022 and recorded 2,871 yards with a 66.7 completion percentage and 18 touchdowns, albeit the Saints went down to a losing 7-10 record, nevertheless, he personally thinks his performance was satisfactory,

“I look back at the last couple of years and some of the situations didn’t turn out the way I would have liked. Last year, I felt personally I felt I played good football, but we didn’t win as many games and that is the most important thing. I have confidence in who I am as a player. Not a lot of people can say, ‘This is Year 13 in the NFL.’ I feel good about where I am. It’s fun to be in this position, to help the next generation of quarterbacks.”

Is Bryce Young to be the starting QB for the Panthers?

The Panthers elevate their first overall pick Young to No 1 quarterback and the new Panthers head coach Frank Reich confirmed the news in June following a practice session.

 Bryce Young

“It’s just the next step. We had a couple of weeks to watch Andy [Dalton]. Andy has continued to perform at a very high level. We’re just trying to get our team ready. Everything is about what’s best for our team, and so this was just the next step”, he said via ESPN.

Earlier Dalton had been taking the first-team reps to start practices and now the duty has been shifted to the Alabama product’s young star while the veteran QB would handle second-team duties. The Heisman Trophy winner is the fourth current former Alabama QB to be a starter in the position following Mac Jones, Tua Tagovailoa, and Jalen Hurts.

The upcoming NFL season is expected to be an exciting one for the Carolina squad as they navigate the quarterback situation and work towards achieving their goals on the gridiron.

Will they stick with Young, or will Dalton’s unwavering belief in himself as a starter create a compelling quarterback controversy? What do you think? You can share your thoughts with us in the comments.


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Maliha works as a content writer in Sportszion specializing in NFL and NBA. She has completed her graduation and post-graduation, majoring in MIS (Management Information Systems). She loves analyzing sports and keeping fans updated with the latest sport buzzes.


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