Carolina Panthers veteran issues warning to teammates over summer break

The standards have been set.
Adam Thielen
Adam Thielen / Morgan Tencza-USA TODAY Sports

There's a different buzz around the Carolina Panthers right now. Dave Canales and his progressive coaching staff brought a newfound sense of purpose and belief. Practices are more energized and focused. This led to an encouraging early workout period before players set off on their short summer break.

This is a positive first step, but no more than that. Players must maintain the same work ethic during the weeks leading up to training camp. That can be more complicated in their own time, so having the correct discipline is crucial to avoid any unnecessary complications when things get more intense.

Adam Thielen issues warning to Carolina Panthers teammates

Adam Thielen issued a warning to teammates of what can happen if the same standards aren't kept. He highlighted the importance of self-training based on comments via USA Today Sports. The veteran wideout also revealed that those who didn't adopt this mindset in Carolina last season were quickly shown the door.

"The NFL has gotten so competitive that you can’t not work out. Even right now. When guys come back to OTAs and they’re out of shape, they haven’t done anything—they’re getting cut. Like, there was a few guys that aren’t on the [Carolina] Panthers anymore that came back, they were out of shape, you can tell they hadn’t done anything and they’re not there anymore. That’s just the reality."

Adam Thielen via USA Today Sports

It sounds simple, especially considering these are elite-level athletes getting paid handsomely. However, the NFL is littered with examples of players being led down the wrong path when they have a little too much time on their hands.

Thielen's been around long enough to know the importance of preparing the right way. He was an undrafted free agent who had to fight for everything. Slipping standards is not an option for the veteran despite achieving so much in the game.

This message needs to be read loud and clear by younger members of the roster. Not many covered themselves in glory last season. They're getting another chance under Canales, but the margin for error is slim after the coach's statement that there is no sentiment attached to his thought process.

Too many on the Panthers just went through the motions under the two previous coaching regimes. That cannot happen again if Carolina wants to stand any chance of emerging from rock bottom and back to respectability.

Have some self-pride in your work. Take training seriously and examine every avenue of potential improvement. Implement the right characteristics to mentally prepare, take care of your body, and eat the right way. It's not a lot to ask given the resources available to the modern-day player.

The Panthers have no room for passengers with Canales leading the charge. Anyone coming into training camp sluggish or out of shape is going to get found out quickly. This could lead to losing starting spots, being demoted down the depth chart, or being cut loose entirely.

It's a summer break, but finding the right balance between rest and work is paramount. Thielen warned of the potential ramifications if this goal isn't met. Hopefully, it doesn't fall on deaf ears.