Brutal honesty helping Bryce Young bounce back from rookie horror show

Bryce Young is on the road to redemption...
Bryce Young
Bryce Young / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Bryce Young had plenty of time to reflect on his rookie campaign to forget. Big things were expected from the No. 1 overall selection in the 2023 NFL Draft immediately. The Carolina Panthers spared no expense to form a supposed all-star coaching staff led by Frank Reich. Scott Fitterer also believed this roster was ready to drop in a quarterback and take off.

What came next was a catastrophe. Young was constantly running for his life behind a woeful offensive line. His pass-catchers couldn't create separation consistently. The coaching staff had no consensus agreement in place on how best to develop the signal-caller. And of course, team owner David Tepper would often weigh in with his not-so-expert opinion.

Young was visibly dejected and decreased in confidence as Carolina's 2023 campaign spiraled into oblivion. The Heisman Trophy winner wasn't without blame, but ignoring the mitigating circumstances behind his disastrous debut NFL season would be foolish.

Carolina Panthers get brutally honest with Bryce Young

Things seem to be looking up for Young entering Year 2 of his professional career. The Panthers spent big money to strengthen the offensive line. They secured the services of wide receiver Diontae Johnson from the Pittsburgh Steelers. The franchise also made Dave Canales their head coach - a man with proven credentials as a quarterback guru who boasts the innovative ideas needed to get the former Alabama star back on track.

When asked about initial discussions with his new coach, Young revealed that some brutal honesty and forthright purpose have been a refreshing change of pace. Something that can hopefully provide the catalyst for better days moving forward.

"You could tell he had a lot of good energy, a lot of positive energy, but also you can tell he's very comfortable being himself. Literally, from the first time I met him until now. I saw him in the hall 30 seconds ago, and it was the same energy, the same person. I might have heard that about him before. But you can tell that he's very authentically himself. He's someone who obviously has a lot of wisdom and knows a lot, but he also will be vocal about wanting to learn and continuing to grow. He's transparent about his journey and his coaching style, and he's upfront.

"He's not going to beat around the bush. He's going to tell you his opinions; he's going to tell you what is going to happen. And I think that that's super-important, knowing that you're going to get an honest, transparent version of someone every day."

After so many differing opinions with previous coaches - and front-office staff - who thought they had to answer, one clear approach is a breath of fresh air for Young. He won't be found wanting in terms of effort. He'll take on coaching and look to rectify some problem areas of his game. Having very few lines of coaching communication should also work wonders.

If anyone can ensure Young makes a quick turnaround, it's Canales. His work with the likes of Russell Wilson, Geno Smith, and Baker Mayfield makes him more than qualified for this responsibility. Developing his obvious talent is the first step, devising a scheme that plays to his strengths and taking some pressure off with a balanced offense is another important piece of the puzzle.

Expecting miracles right away wouldn't be wise. At the same time, the scope for immediate improvement is high if the Panthers continue to improve everything around Young via the 2024 NFL Draft.

And who knows, maybe a bit of positive energy from his head coach with transparency throughout his second-year development could be exactly what the doctor ordered.