NFL writer throws skepticism on Carolina Panthers' plans for progress

Altering perceptions is a tough challenge.
Dave Canales
Dave Canales / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

It's hard for fans not to get excited by what's unfolding across the Carolina Panthers this offseason. Dan Morgan, Dave Canales, and Brandt Tilis left a positive impression during their first spring working in unison. Team owner David Tepper is staying out of the way, so the signs are positive regarding improved fortunes during their long-term plans.

Carolina won't contend for a Super Bowl overnight. Those in power need to establish a level of professionalism in their roster construction. They need the team to be more competitive gradually. After that, ambitions will rise accordingly.

Canales seems confident that rapid growth can arrive if everyone gets on the same page. The NFC South isn't the most competitive division, which leaves some fans dreaming of a division title challenge in the first year under his progressive guidance.

Carolina Panthers face a long road back to prosperity under Dave Canales

Sayre Bedinger from NFL Spin Zone poured cold water on these dreams. The writer placed Carolina at No. 1 on his list of teams least likely to go from worst to first next season. He believes there are too many questions surrounding the operation to instill much confidence in this scenario coming to fruition.

"There are simply too many variables at play here with the Carolina Panthers to really expect them to make a dramatic turnaround. Even though the Panthers play in the NFL's most wide-open division currently (the NFC South hasn't had a 10-win team since 2021), this is still a team and roster with way too many question marks. Is Bryce Young going to be able to rebound in 2024? Even if Young rebounds, how do the Panthers respond to a brand-new head coach in Dave Canales? Given how bad things were for this team last year, it's hard to see them getting past the other teams in their division."

Sayre Bedinger, NFL Spin Zone

This shouldn't be breaking news for anybody. The Panthers were the NFL's worst team by a considerable margin last season. It's a long road back up from rock bottom to respectability. But if Tepper is patient, the franchise might be onto something with this power trio.

That's the key. Tepper isn't going to get anywhere by being impulsive and removing another head coach. Letting this play out over the next 2-3 years can reap significant rewards based on early impressions.

There are a lot of variables in play. The unknowns are holding most in the media back from lavishing bold predictions on the Panthers in 2024. Once Canales demonstrates the ability to put out a better football product, optimism will increase exponentially.

Whether that comes sooner rather than later remains to be seen. Until then, Canales will go about his business and strive to ensure his troops are ready for battle in Week 1 at the New Orleans Saints.

If this becomes a reality, the Panthers might be a surprise most teams don't see coming during the 2024 campaign.