Dave Canales urges Bryce Young to get nasty for Year 2 turnaround

It's time for Bryce Young to take off the mask...

Dave Canales
Dave Canales / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina Panthers head coach Dave Canales outlined what he wants to see from quarterback Bryce Young in 2024.

Dave Canales has to manage an entire roster as head coach. That said, he was brought into the Carolina Panthers for one specific reason. To help quarterback Bryce Young realize his potential.

After trading up to No. 1 overall in the 2023 NFL Draft for Young, what followed was a rookie campaign that left more questions than answers. There was hesitancy in the player's demeanor for arguably the first time in his football life. Confidence waned to critical levels as another Panthers season spiraled into oblivion. Frustrations reached breaking point. It was deeply concerning almost from start to finish.

Young's production wasn't near the required standard. His supporting cast was an abomination and Carolina's supposed all-star coaching staff couldn't get on the same page regarding what was best for his development. At least in that sense, Canales is here to change all that.

Dave Canales wants Bryce Young to adopt a mean streak

The head coach doesn't believe there is a great deal to fix if everything around Young improves. There is something Canales wants to ensure the former Alabama star takes a significant leap forward in Year 2. He wants the mask to come down, play with an added edge, and put his turbulent experiences from the previous campaign to good use based on comments via the team's website.

"Everyone says he's such a nice kid, you know, he's such a nice guy and all this. And it's like, yeah, but there's an edge there, and you don't get to, you don't play at the level of football that he has played without having an edge, without having that confidence in yourself. To be able to be introspective, to learn the hard lessons, and to be able to communicate it, and see it with a hopeful mindset. I think that's one of the things that I've learned about him. He's like, I'm glad I went through this past year. I'm glad I had the challenges of this because this is very different than anything that I've experienced up to this point, you know, and to feel him and to hear his hopefulness for where we're headed, it's exactly what you would hope to hear from your quarterback and, and from a guy that, that sees the best for himself going forward."

Dave Canales via Panthers.com

If Young takes on Canales' coaching effectively en route to a profitable career, nobody will remember what transpired during his rookie campaign. Many first-year quarterbacks endure hardship. The Heisman Trophy winner won't be the first and he certainly won't be the last. How he responds in the face of adversity is critical.

We've witnessed high-end picks see their confidence knocked beyond repair thanks in no small part to the unstable environment around them. The Panthers have strived to ensure they won't fall into that category this offseason, investing heavily in the offensive line interior and also acquiring wide receiver Diontae Johnson via trade from the Pittsburgh Steelers.

More reinforcements on offense will arrive from the 2024 NFL Draft. After that, it's down to Young.

There is a fire within the signal-caller to put things right if Canales' comments are any indication. Young's no doubt heard the criticism - fair and unfair - coming his way since the campaign concluded. The motivation to silence his increasing doubters couldn't be more obvious and the head coach will be with him every step of the way.

It won't be all smooth sailing, that's for sure. But if Young can build his confidence up gradually and embrace Canales as a mentor and guide, all hope is not lost.

And who knows, perhaps the nasty streak within Young can provide the spark needed for brighter days ahead.