How can Dave Canales unlock Bryce Young's true potential?

The head coach has a big job on his hands with Bryce Young.

Bryce Young
Bryce Young / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
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How can Carolina Panthers head coach Dave Canales unlock the true potential of quarterback Bryce Young after a rollercoaster rookie campaign?

While many eyebrows were raised when the Carolina Panthers made Dave Canales their next head coach, it was done with one primary objective in mind. Other reasons came into the equation, but helping quarterback Bryce Young thrive was the most coveted trait during the interview process above all else.

Nobody will look back on Young's rookie campaign with any great fondness. The signal-caller couldn't meet the expectations normally associated with a No. 1 overall selection. Carolina failed to put the right pieces around their prized possession. Aside from a few flashes, it was an absolute disaster from start to finish.

Canales is here to change all that.

Carolina Panthers must provide the right environment for Bryce Young

He's been credited for assisting with Russell Wilson's emergence during his time with the Seattle Seahawks. This trend continued when Canales played a leading role in Geno Smith's remarkable resurgence into a legitimate starting option under center. After becoming Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator, the progressive play-caller brought Baker Mayfield back to life.

Bryce Young
Bryce Young / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

How does Canales go about making Young's life easier?

Joe Person of The Athletic hit the nail on the head in a recent column. This starts with fewer people in his ear, an aligned vision among the coaching staff, and a more productive supporting cast. It might not happen overnight, but those appear to be the obvious keys.

"The chaotic nature of the Panthers’ season affected the development of Young, whose rookie season featured a coaching change and three flip-flops in the offensive play calling. Tight end Hayden Hurst said Young had “too many voices” in his ear during a year in which the No. 1 pick finished with an NFL-worst passer rating and was next to last with a 59.8 completion percentage. The porous pass protection and lack of receivers who could separate from coverage also contributed heavily to Young’s rookie struggles. But the coaches’ inability to get on the same page — even regarding the depth of Young’s dropbacks — didn’t help matters. Before Morgan and Canales decide whether Young is an upper-tier QB — we can assume Morgan does since he was part of the brain trust that picked Young over CJ Stroud — they first have to give him some better playmakers and pass blockers to evaluate him fairly."

Joe Person, The Athletic

The Panthers have too much invested in Young to give up at the first sign of trouble. Everyone realizes this was not the best environment for the Heisman Trophy winner. That's made him a difficult evaluation up to now, so putting everything in place will give Canales a better perception of what he has and what more he needs to do.

Young has the tools to carve out a successful career for himself. There were confidence issues as another season of abject failure wore on. Perhaps more disappointing was his lack of deep ball accuracy, footwork in the pocket, and hesitancy that led to a lack of throwing velocity on occasion.

If anyone can turn things around for Young, it's Canales. He's a young, vibrant coach who focuses on building strong relationships to get his message across. Smith recently lauded him for the level of care and energy he displayed to get the perennial backup into a No. 1 spot. The Panthers are banking on him doing the same with the former Alabama star.

Anything less would be a failure of epic proportions.

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