Carolina Panthers can harness primetime snub into something positive

It's not the end of the world.
Dave Canales
Dave Canales / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Panthers know they aren't being perceived in the greatest light around the league right now. There is still time for that to change, but they'll have to take their lumps in the coming months before things improve on the field.

Not being involved in any primetime games in 2024 is something that no doubt stung team owner David Tepper. He's renowned for wanting the spotlight in previous years, so this was another stark reminder that he must change his methods in pursuit of shifting narratives.

Carolina Panthers don't need the extra pressure of primetime

When influential figures within the organization received the news about having no primetime contests in 2024, it came as a surprise looking at the reactions of Brandt Tilis, Dan Morgan, Bryce Young, and Derrick Brown. Of course, head coach Dave Canales looked on the positive side, highlighting increased family time and more structure to the campaign despite the obvious disappointment of being shunned from the national spotlight.

While every player wants to showcase their talent with the entire NFL watching, Canales is right. This might be a good thing for the Panthers when it's all said and done.

It's not hard to read between the lines. The NFL and those who pay billions to have football on their television stations and streaming services see the Panthers as the laughingstock right now. That's not exactly breaking news, but it's a problem brought on themselves as the franchise descended into a complete joke under Tepper's ownership.

Morgan and Canales have recognized this fact. They want to re-establish the culture that made the Panthers a force once upon a time. Emerging from rock bottom is the first step, which will hopefully be followed by respectability and perhaps even returning to playoff contention in the coming years if their grand plans for sustained growth go according to plan.

If Canales had any sense - which he seems to possess in abundance - he would use this as a source of motivation. He'll know the only way Carolina can rise from obscurity is by moving forward collectively and striving to reach specific short and long-term goals. If being overlooked for any primetime involvement whatsoever makes some players feel a certain way, then the head coach can turn this disappointing predicament into something positive.

In truth, this shouldn't come as the biggest shock to the system. The Panthers have been omitted from the primetime schedule twice before after two and one-win seasons. After enduring another cataclysmic campaign last time around, this happening again was always a possibility.

The Panthers probably don't need to galvanize themselves much more in their quest to emerge from the wilderness. This allows them to focus on week-to-week preparations and go about their business quietly. No short weeks. No wrenches are being thrown in to halt any potential momentum. Just games every Sunday and a more traditional method of planning throughout any given week.

There is nothing quite like football under the lights when you're team is doing well. Anyone who was around during Carolina's memorable run to the Super Bowl in 2015 will tell you that. However, the Panthers couldn't be further away from those lofty heights currently, and this was always going to be a small-step process as the new regime completely relaid the foundations.

Tepper probably wants primetime games to be plentiful. After all, it makes money. But this might not end up being the catastrophe many in the national media made it out to be. It also takes the microscope off the organization, which is never a bad thing.

Besides, if Canales has his way, Carolina's primetime situation will look a lot different this time next year.