Panthers Notebook: Coach Dave Canales Understands NFL Team Must ‘Earn’ Prime-Time Matchups; Bryce Young Looking More Muscular; DraftKings Sportsbook Dislikes Changes

bryce young sacked by jaguars (1)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The rebuilding Carolina Panthers are the lone NFL team not scheduled for a prime-time appearance next season.

That’s part of the consequences of fielding a league-worst two-win squad that lacked much offensive flair or identity, getting shut out during the final two games. Under the direction of 2023 first overall draft pick Bryce Young, the Panthers placed last in yards gained per game (265.3).

Since the end of the floundering campaign, the franchise rebooted with a new general manager (Dan Morgan) and new coach (Dave Canales). They also reorganized the scouting department and restocked the roster with free agents and draft picks. Not all league insiders were not impressed with the changes, however. DraftKings Sportsbook did not favor the Panthers in any of their 17 games next season.

Canales didn’t take the prime time block out personally. The first-year coach embraced the challenge of making the Panthers relevant.

At least more entertaining.

“You got to earn it,” Canales said during Monday’s press conference. “You got to earn prime-time games. Those things just don’t come along. They don’t start out that way, they don’t just throw you on primetime games for no reason.

“We have to build a version of football that we’re proud of and be able to accentuate (those) talents and strengths of the guys that we have and then I think the world will want to see that at some point. But we got a long way to go and we got to earn those types of opps.”

QB Bryce Young Beefs Up

During the pre-draft practice last winter, Young faced questions on his size, on how much abuse his 5-foot-10, 204-pound frame can sustain. Well, after absorbing 62 sacks last season, the sixth most in NFL history, Young proved he can take a hit … after hit … after hit …

Hindered by a revolving door at both guard positions, Young faced constant pressure in the pocket. Young registered a 21.6 passing grade under pressure, ranked the worst in the league.

During Monday’s organized team activity (OTA) at Bank of America Stadium, Young looked like he hit the weight room the past several weeks. He appeared more muscular.

With two new, high-priced, free-agent guards (Robert Hunt and Damien Lewis) set to stabilize the middle of the offensive line and three rookie offensive playmakers (wide receiver Xavier Legette, running back Jonathon Brooks and tight end Ja’Tavion Sanders) in place, Young doesn’t anticipate the Panthers will not be out of the national radar for long.

“It’s always good to have new juice, have different juice,” Young said.

Carolina Panthers Game-By-Game Odds

Here is an early look at the Carolina Panthers’ game-by-game odds for the 2024 season, according to DraftKings Sportsbook:

Carolina Panthers 2024 Schedule Teams Favorite, Odds
Week 1 (Sept. 8) Panthers at New Orleans Saints Saints, -5
Week 2 (Sept. 15) Los Angeles Chargers at Panthers Chargers, -5
Week 3 (Sept. 22) Panthers at Las Vegas Raiders Raiders, -4
Week 4 (Sept. 29) Cincinnati Bengals at Panthers Bengals, -5
Week 5 (Oct. 6) Panthers at Chicago Bears Bears, -5.5
Week 6 (Oct. 13) Atlanta Falcons at Panthers Falcons, -3.5
Week 7 (Oct. 20)  Panthers at Washington Commanders Commanders, -3
Week 8 (Oct. 27) Panthers at Denver Broncos Broncos, -2.5
Week 9 (Nov. 3) Saints at Panthers NA
Week 10 (Nov. 10) New York Giants vs. Panthers in Munich, Germany Giants, -1
Week 11 Bye NA
Week 12 (Nov. 24) Kansas City Chiefs at Panthers Chiefs, -7
Week 13 (Dec. 1) Tama Bay Buccaneers at Panthers Buccaneers, -2
Week 14 (Dec. 8) Panthers at Philadelphia Eagles Eagles, -7.5
Week 15 (Dec. 15) Dallas Cowboys at Panthers Cowboys, -6.5
Week 16 (Dec. 22) Arizona Cardinals at Panthers Cardinals, -1
Week 17 (Dec. 29) Panthers at Buccaneers Buccaneers, -5
Week 18 (TBD) Panthers at Falcons Falcons, -6.5

*Odds as of May 17

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