3 Carolina Panthers players showing signs of life under Dave Canales

Dave Canales
Dave Canales / Jacob Kupferman/GettyImages
2 of 3

Austin Corbett - Carolina Panthers C

After making two substantial investments in the offensive line interior, Austin Corbett's future immediately came under the microscope. Dan Morgan released several established veterans he thought weren't worth the salary-cap hit in 2024. Many wondered if the former second-round selection would follow suit after the arrivals of Robert Hunt and Damien Lewis.

The Carolina Panthers had other ideas. They released starting center Bradley Bozeman instead. This means Corbett is making a pivotal position switch to become the team's anchor on their protection in 2024.

This is a significant responsibility considering the need for quarterback Bryce Young to improve. The Panthers don't have a specialist center on the books aside from undrafted free agent Andrew Raym. Brady Christensen took backup snaps over early workouts, which puts more pressure on the Nevada product to make this transition go smoothly.

Corbett doesn't have much experience in the center position. Teams tried him there previously without being convinced he could hold up in a competitive environment. There's also the small matter of two consecutive knee injuries to raise further concerns.

Despite these doubts, Corbett's getting rave reviews for his adaptability and performance levels so far. Dave Canales isn't placing too much on the offensive line. He wants them to be physical, communicate well, and work within the system. The head coach believes everything should fall into place after that.

It'll be interesting to see if Corbett can keep this up when the real action arrives. It'll be a crash course of sorts for the veteran over Carolina's training camp. Whenever Young is on the field during preseason games, he should be too. This gives the duo a better chance of enhancing chemistry before things mean more.

Corbett has plenty of motivation heading into the season. This is a contract year for the lineman. Anything less than improved consistency and availability might see the Panthers go in a different direction next spring.