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The Carolina Panthers were hoping the moves they made heading into last season would spark a change for the franchise. They had a new head coach in Frank Reich and selected quarterback Bryce Young with the No. 1 overall pick. The goal was a successful season, but the reality was far different.

The Panthers had the worst record in the NFL, finishing the regular season at 2-15 and firing their head coach before the year was over.

Carolina is trying to reset again, this time with new general manager Dan Morgan and head coach Dave Canales, who are looking to create a new narrative at Bank of America Stadium.

"I don't care about what we can't do; what can we do? Who are these players that we have, and how are we going to maximize those strengths on a daily basis?" Canales said at his introductory press conference (via NFL.com). "We're looking for championship moments, championship days, and that's got to be a full-on commitment every single time we walk in here."

Canales expressed optimism for the future and said his focus is on building a culture of winning.

Bryce Young
CAR • QB • #9
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The Panthers new head coach comes from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he was the offensive coordinator, helping the team make an improbable playoff run. Canales proved he knows how to get the best of his quarterbacks, working with Baker Mayfield, who had a career season in 2023. 

Canales' next challenge is to turn things around for Young, who struggled in his rookie year. He said the first thing he will work on with the QB is "attention to the details."

"It all starts off with the relationship; Bryce and I just getting to know each other. I want him to know that I have his best interest at heart. I want him to be the best possible version of himself. That's the same approach that I've taken since I've been coaching positions in the NFL." Canales said. "We're going to become what Bryce is great at in the pass game. We're going to grow to the capacity that he can handle. There's got to be a commitment and a discipline about that."

Something Canales did with Mayfield was to see where he looked most confident, then continue to find more of those moments and generate an offense around them. Canales said there was "a growth curve" with Mayfield, and he believes Young can have that growth as well.

"The more that I got ready for this interview and start watching Bryce," Canales said, "Looking at the notes of his (evaluation) -- I mean, that's just a year ago -- we're evaluating him as a player, as a person, and with all the information that we could. I just got more and more fired up about the opportunity to have this amazing talent. And he's the guy -- he's the right guy that we all talk about when we have that quarterback, that face-of-the-franchise type of player, and that got me really excited."

Canales admitted there are certain challenges he will face with his new quarterback, but he does not plan on giving the rest of the division any intel on what those challenges are.

The Panthers' problems span further than just the quarterback, and they will not have a first-round draft pick this year to help them at the other spots.

Their first selection comes at No. 33. They plan to bring players in that are "leaders," "competitors" and are passionate about the game, according to Morgan.

"As [former Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart] would say, 'those Dogs.' We need some dogs," Morgan said. "We got to get some guys that are passionate about football, that love football, that want to come out everyday and compete on the practice field, in the weight room. We need competitors. We got to bring that back here. We got to bring that back here to Bank of America Stadium to where people get excited about coming to see our team."

They want to build a team that fans and players are proud of and that other teams fear. 

"The logo has to be feared again, because now, it's not feared. So, we got to get that back, but I think that starts with getting the right type of players," Morgan said. 

Carolina has not had a winning record since 2011, which is the last time it made the playoffs. Its last playoff win came in 2015, when it went 15-1 in the regular season.