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Panthers' Thielen: Young more confident after 'awesome' offseason

Eakin Howard / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Carolina Panthers wide receiver Adam Thielen is impressed by what he's seen from second-year quarterback Bryce Young this year.

"It's been an awesome offseason," Thielen recently said on the "Rich Eisen Show." "Not only him, just a lot of the young guys, a lot of the staff. ... You can tell, Bryce's demeanor in the building, he's just more confident."

Young entered the NFL surrounded by high expectations as the 2023 No. 1 overall pick but failed to live up to the hype. The former Heisman Trophy winner finished his rookie season with 11 passing touchdowns against 10 interceptions while completing just 59.8% of his pass attempts. He went 2-14 as a starter and suffered 11 fumbles.

Thielen said that a full offseason with the Panthers in 2024 has really helped Young, who's been introduced to a new offensive system designed by first-year head coach Dave Canales.

"Now he's there," Thielen said. "Now we're getting routes on air, we're around each other, we're in the locker room together. ... It's been a really cool offseason to see how he's just come back with, 'OK, I've got urgency, I've got confidence.'"

The 33-year-old Thielen joined Carolina last year and led the team with 103 catches and 1,014 yards. He also scored four touchdowns.

The two-time Pro Bowler said in March 2023 that Carolina had a "real" chance of winning the Super Bowl last season.

"Things are always great this time of the year, right?" Thielen said. "There's no wins, no losses. There's no adversity. It's all good right now. Every single team thinks that they can go to the playoffs and have a chance to win the Super Bowl. ... But we're in a good place."

The Panthers last reached the postseason during the 2017 campaign.

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