What can Bryce Young gain from Carolina Panthers' baptism of fire?

It's been a baptism of fire for Bryce Young during his rookie campaign.

Adam Thielen and Bryce Young
Adam Thielen and Bryce Young / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers quarterback Bryce Young received some valuable advice from a veteran teammate amid the complete franchise dysfunction.

Bryce Young's had it pretty much all his way during a prolific football life so far. He was a standout high school prodigy in Southern California and drew national acclaim. This was followed by scholarship offers aplenty before eventually choosing Alabama.

Young benefitted greatly as a result. He won a Heisman Trophy and became the No. 1 overall selection in the 2023 NFL Draft. However, that's where the success ends - up to now, at least.

The Carolina Panthers ended up being the worst possible situation for Young. They are 1-11, fired head coach Frank Reich, and recent revelations further highlighted the completely dysfunctional operation being overseen by team owner David Tepper.

Carolina Panthers struggles are testing Bryce Young's resolve

Getting through the remaining five games unscathed is the biggest remaining objective. Young also got some good advice from Adam Thielen on how he can put this turbulent first season to good use moving forward via David Newton of ESPN.

"I told him the other week this is probably the best thing that will ever happen to you, just because now you kind of have the ability to fight through adversity and go through the toughest of tough times."

Adam Thielen via ESPN

Thielen is right. This is the first time Young's experienced any prolonged adversity, so taking everything on the chin and coming out on the other end fighting is a primary objective that can hopefully raise resolve further within the promising signal-caller.

Young's never thrown anybody under the bus. He's always held himself accountable when it would have been easy to go in a different direction. Especially considering the stories emerging from the franchise in recent weeks.

Instead, Young's emerged as a leader. Many established players have mentioned how the quarterback's been the first to get up and speak in the hope of raising standards. That hasn't had the desired effect as yet, so the next stage might have to come once the personnel around him improves.

Of course, he's not without blame. There are footwork issues that need to be resolved and Young also needs to start climbing the pocket with more effectiveness. Especially when under pressure as the NFL's second-most sacked quarterback behind Washington Commanders gunslinger Sam Howell.

Nobody is expecting a miracle turnaround from the Panthers over their remaining regular season engagements. The scheme on offense isn't going to magically cure itself overnight. Young has to make the best of this shoddy hand and hope the new regime does right by him when the recruitment phase begins next spring.

This is a test of character for Young. He's been the model professional throughout Carolina's seemingly annual downward spiral. Even if it must be killing him inside after tasting nothing but winning as a quarterback before coming to the pros.

Leaning on people like Thielen is a nice security blanket for Young if nothing else. He's been his most consistent pass-catcher this season and has been around the block with Kirk Cousins during his time with the Minnesota Vikings - a quarterback who's gone through severe criticism almost flawlessly throughout his career.

How much this rocky ride will impact Young long-term is the big question. If the signal-caller does fall flat on his face, the Panthers have nobody to blame but themselves.

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