Renewed focus bringing out Terrace Marshall Jr.'s alpha qualities

Terrace Marshall Jr.
Terrace Marshall Jr. / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

A renewed focus is bringing out alpha qualities in Carolina Panthers wide receiver Terrace Marshall Jr. ahead of the 2023 campaign.

It's common knowledge at this point that Terrace Marshall Jr. was clearly being held back by Matt Rhule. The wide receiver found his way into the previous head coach's dog house and couldn't get out for some unbeknown reason, which means the second-round selection is officially making up for some lost time.

Marshall began coming to the fore almost immediately after Rhule's incompetence was shown the door in 2022. His physical attributes have always been there - it's about getting confidence back up after being cast aside completely by the previous regime.

Carolina Panthers have a future alpha in Terrace Marshall Jr.

There's nothing Marshall can do about that now. What's important is focusing on the future and embracing what appears to be a significant opportunity awaiting the LSU product next season after the Carolina Panthers traded D.J. Moore to the Chicago Bears.

Marshall could become Carolina's primary receiving weapon despite the presence of Adam Thielen and D.J. Chark. That's a lot to ask of someone that's endured such a rough ride to begin his NFL journey, but there is quiet confidence some loftier goals can be met in 2023.

According to reports, Marshall looks like a different guy this offseason. He's dominating on the field, maximizing every rep, and is also staying behind for additional work after every practice - setting the tone for what will hopefully become a profitable campaign.

This hasn't gone unnoticed by the media, fans, or those within the locker room. When discussing Marshall after the first day of Carolina's mandatory minicamp, Thielen stated via USA Today Sports that the wideout is motivated and has been extremely welcoming following his big move from the Minnesota Vikings.

"He’s a guy who comes to work every single day. He’s doing the little things, he’s doing the extra stuff. He really is motivated to be the best football player he can possibly be, and really the best teammate he can possibly be. He’s welcomed me in from Day 1, even before I got here, and has been a great teammate. So, I appreciate that and I thank him for that. And you can tell that he’s a mature football player and has a bright future."

Adam Thielen via USA Today Sports

Thielen's been around some pretty decent receivers throughout his glittering career, so he knows what one looks like. Whether Marshall can ever reach the heights of Stefon Diggs or Justin Jefferson remains to be seen, but the renewed focus provided by the new coaching staff is bringing out the right response.

If Marshall cannot make the impact needed, so be it. But the trajectory is pointing up when all hope seemed lost under Rhule's ineptitude.

Marshall is working hard, developing a decent rapport with Bryce Young, and giving a sense of assurance that wasn't there previously. That's all anybody could ask for at this stage of preparations.

Things will get tougher for Marshall when the pads go on at camp. His anticipated clashes against stud cornerback Sauce Gardner during joint practices with the New York Jets are also set to provide a decent measuring stick heading into Week 1 at the Atlanta Falcons.

The belief is coming back for Marshall. And it's been a long time since anybody said that.