Panthers' new hire set for awkward introduction after Bryce Young critique

In truth, this was probably blown out of proportion.
Bryce Young
Bryce Young / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Bryce Young has had his fair share of critics since entering the league. The No. 1 overall selection in the 2023 NFL Draft went through some incredible turmoil as a rookie. While his play wasn't exactly stellar, the Carolina Panthers failed their prized possession by throwing him into a toxic, unstable environment with almost no quality options around him on offense.

The Panthers have made significant investments across the board to change that this offseason. Dave Canales - a renowned quarterback resurrector - is his head coach and primary line of coaching communication. Carolina beefed up the offensive line, added some notable playmakers in the passing game, and will look to establish a stubborn, effective running attack under the new regime.

Eric Eager was the latest hire, which raised more than a few eyebrows and received widespread approval. His specialist background in analytics is something team owner David Tepper values highly. He was part of the Pro Football Focus staff before going on to become vice president of SumerSports, which is experience the Panthers plan to utilize as part of their newfound cohesive strategy.

Carolina Panthers staff member's old Bryce Young take resurfaces

Soon after the hire was revealed by Joe Person from The Athletic, it didn't take long for an old clip to surface where Eager was concerned. Something that caused a significant stir and centered on the new staff member taking Tyson Bagent over Young before Carolina's game against the Chicago Bears last season.

"I think there's like 10 or 12 potential backup quarterbacks in the NFL and Tyson Bagent is probably one of them. He avoids sacks, he takes chances downfield, I think he's got a pretty solid arm, and I think he's got a low ceiling. So, I think if I needed to win this game, I would go with Bagent. Obviously, I think moving forward you'd want Bryce Young. The pedigree, the draft capital, all the statistical things that come with being the No. 1 overall pick, but I think just for this one game it's Bagent. It's not that Bryce Young isn't mobile, it's more like Bagent is more mobile. He's a top-five player in the league right now in avoiding sacks."

While everyone is looking for an excuse to twist the knife, it's blown out of proportion. Eager stated that he'd have Young as his long-term option. He was merely talking about that one game when the Panthers were on their rapid descent to rock bottom.

No more than that, in all honesty.

Eager's appointment is seen as a forward-thinking move that reaffirms Tepper's faith in the importance of analytics to the modern-day game. It's something becoming increasingly prevalent around the league. Therefore, the new arrival should help provide a comprehensive analysis to assist Canales in pursuit of getting the Panthers out of the doldrums.

Young is under increasing pressure to get things trending upward next season. A more productive supporting cast and a scheme to fit his strengths dictate as much. Nobody is expecting the former Heisman Trophy winner out of Alabama to rapidly surge into NFL MVP contention, but gradual growth is the minimum target for a player whom the Panthers gave up a king's ransom to acquire.

It's a high-stakes situation, but Young has the mindset and inner character to make a better go of things.