Carolina Panthers head coach Dave Canales revealed the painfully obvious about Bryce Young, even if some critics choose not to see it.
It's no secret that Dave Canales became Carolina Panthers head coach with the mission to make Bryce Young the franchise-caliber quarterback those in power envisaged when they traded up to No. 1 overall in the 2023 NFL Draft. There is much more to the top job, but this represents the primary objective above all else.
Young has his critics after an indifferent rookie campaign. No matter how many current or former players come to his defense with the correct context attached to his failings, some sections of Carolina's long-suffering fanbase are labeling him a bust after just one season.
I wonder if they'd have done the same for Peyton Manning or Troy Aikman. Of course, their turbulent first years under center didn't take place in the instant gratification era we now find ourselves. That's unfortunately a burden Young has to carry, but the Panthers are also responsible for a rough opening to his next-level journey.
Dave Canales doesn't see Bryce Young as a project
Canales is here to change Young's trajectory. The Panthers need to invest heavily in the necessary upgrades around the signal-caller. But the former Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator doesn't see this as the reclamation project he's become renowned for based on comments during an appearance on WFNZ via Sports Illustrated.
"My approach with Bryce is it doesn't feel like a fix-it project at all. For me, what I see is an accurate passer. I see a guy who's got courage in the pocket. I see a guy who pops back up and just keeps rockin'. He's just built and wired that way. So for me, it's no different than any other quarterback. And the talent, the innate ability, the first overall pick -- all that ability will fill up and we'll need those special plays three to five times a game. But we don't need it on every single snap. We just need him to be able to understand what we're trying to get done and just do his part in it. And I think that really is an approach that I've taken with a bunch of guys to alleviate that stress of having to carry something."- Dave Canales via Sports Illustrated
This is painfully obvious. Young is not at a career crossroads like Geno Smith or Baker Mayfield - two signal-callers whom Canales helped rejuvenate in recent seasons. He is a supremely gifted individual who's gone through some adversity in a terrible situation. It wasn't ideal, but it's not the end of the world by any stretch.
Even if some would have you believe just that.
Perhaps it was the Panthers' big investment. Perhaps it was the compensation being more than anyone anticipated as Carolina gets set to hand the No. 1 pick in 2024 to the Chicago Bears. Perhaps it was watching C.J. Stroud flourish in a much better set-up right out of the gate. Perhaps it was a combination of all three that had fans writing Young off before his career barely began.
It's a sad state of affairs, especially when it comes to fans not showing genuine support for their fledgling quarterback. Some would rather push their agendas than look at the bigger picture. Young will be the first to admit his performances weren't to his liking. But completely ignoring the mitigating circumstances is asinine, in all honesty.
If Canales can work his customary magic, then those who've spent considerable time trying to bring Young down will be laughing on the other side of their face soon.