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This time a year ago, Bryce Young was all the rage in NFL Draft circles and the Carolina Panthers were swooning at the opportunity to draft the Alabama quarterback. Fast forward 12 months, and some of the shine has come off the former No. 1 overall pick after a rough rookie season. Young's first year in the league came with plenty of challenges as he completed just under 60% of his throws and threw nearly as many interceptions (10) as he did touchdowns (11). Making matters worse is that the club won just two of his 16 starts. 

When you lump those numbers in with the Panthers trading tremendous capital to move up to No. 1 to select Young and the success of NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year C.J. Stroud, who was the No. 2 overall pick, it exacerbates the quarterback's struggles. While some of that can certainly fall on Young's shoulders, it wasn't all on him, as his teammate Adam Thielen told NFL Network's "Good Morning Football" on Wednesday.

"Yeah, well, I'll say this: I mean, I think everything was stacked against him last year, unfortunately," Thielen said, via "And I'm not gonna get into detail as to why that was, but I'm just really excited for him to have a fresh start, an ability to have a good coaching staff that's gonna put a good plan together to help him be successful, and also to put people around him to help him be successful."

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As Thielen noted, Young didn't exactly land in a stable situation with Carolina. The team fired first-year head coach Frank Reich after Week 12 and the offensive line struggled to protect Young, who was sacked 62 times in 2023. Given all the things that crumbled around him, Thielen did credit Young for keeping a stable mindset throughout it all. 

"So with that being said, I think what he really showed is his maturity over the year," Thielen said. "I think his ability at times to just be very honest in front of the room and say, 'Hey, this is what I'm not doing very well and this is what I need to get better at and please hold me accountable,' I thought was really impressive for a young guy.

"His maturity level over the season was really cool to see. And his ability to handle adversity. I don't know how much adversity Bryce has had over his football career, and to handle the amount of adversity he did, to show up every week, week in, week out, put his head down and work, try to lead to the best of his ability was really impressive, and what makes me excited about Year 2 with him."

Fortunately for Young, Carolina seems to be taking steps in the right direction to get his development back on track. The club hired former Buccaneers offensive coordinator Dave Canales as its next head coach, traded for former Steelers receiver Diontae Johnson, and invested heavily along the interior of the offensive line by signing Robert Hunt and Damien Lewis in free agency. 

While the record in Carolina may still not be where ownership would like it to be, if Young can flash the promise he had coming into the league a year ago and show he is the QB the Panthers can build around, it'll be a massive victory for the club coming out of the 2024 season.