Carolina Panthers must plan around Bryce Young
All the other points have their merits. But make no mistake, none are more important than devising a plan to ensure quarterback Bryce Young reaches or perhaps even exceeds expectations.
The Carolina Panthers paid way more than they originally anticipated for Young. Seeing wide receiver D.J. Moore flourish with the Chicago Bears wasn't surprising. Giving up the No. 1 overall selection in the 2024 NFL Draft didn't enter their train of thought for a second.
What the Panthers gave up for Young won't matter to Dave Canales. Nor should it. He believes in the signal-caller. Otherwise, the ambitious play-caller wouldn't have risked his blossoming reputation by taking this job when offers could have been flooding in this time next year.
Young has talent - that's not up for discussion despite an indifferent first season. The Panthers also failed to set him up for immediate success. A scenario made worse by the fact C.J. Stroud shone under DeMeco Ryans and Bobby Slowik during a memorable opening campaign with the Houston Texans.
This is the biggest priority facing Canales and his staff. They must form a concise plan for Young. They need to scheme around his strengths. They must work out the flaws in his game effectively - something the head coach has a proven track record of doing with the likes of Geno Smith and Baker Mayfield.
All hope is not lost where Young is concerned, not by a long shot. However, forming a step-by-step blueprint for progress is the only way this critical objective will be accomplished.
After that, it's down to the player.