With 2023 NFL training camps set to kick off the week of July 24, it's time to get up to speed on all 32 NFL teams. Bobby Kownack has the lowdown on position battles, key players and notable subplots across the NFC South:
Catch up on the Carolina Panthers' offseason and 2023 outlook below ...
Training Camp Dates/Information
- Players report: July 22 (rookies); July 25 (veterans)
- Location: Wofford College | Spartanburg, South Carolina (fan information)
Notable Roster Changes
2023 Schedule Notes
- Have the sixth easiest strength of schedule in 2023 based on their opponents' 2022 win percentage (.453).
- No. 1 overall pick Bryce Young could face C.J. Stroud (No. 2) and Anthony Richardson (No. 4) in back-to-back games (Weeks 8 and 9, respectively).
- One of five teams with a three-game road trip (Weeks 12-14; Tennessee, Tampa Bay and New Orleans).
- Play three of their final four games at home (Atlanta, Green Bay and Tampa Bay).
-- NFL Research
Subplots To Track
1) New head coach Frank Reich has his work cut out to turn the Panthers back into a winner after five consecutive losing seasons. He was tasked with a similar reclamation project in 2018, taking over a Colts team that had missed the playoffs in three consecutive seasons before earning a trip to the AFC Divisional Round in Reich's first year. Then Andrew Luck unexpectedly retired, and Reich and Co. were unable to find a sustainable solution under center. But the way things ended in Indy shouldn't lessen Reich's potential in Carolina. He's known for installing a strong culture, and he's already gone to great lengths to avoid another rotating door at QB by trading up to draft Bryce Young. We're finally about to see what Reich is capable of building when afforded consistency.
2) By all accounts, Young is ready for the challenges that come from being the No. 1 overall pick. His teammates have shared rave reviews all offseason, and he's already hitting milestones the team set for him. The 2021 Heisman Trophy winner earned first-team reps during Carolina's third and final batch of OTAs in June, and while Reich wasn't ready to name Young the team's Week 1 starter, the 21-year-old appears well on his way to making his NFL debut on Sept. 10 against the Falcons.
3) After shipping D.J. Moore to Chicago in the move for Young, Carolina enters training camp with a hodgepodge of pass catchers in the receiver room. Is there enough receiving talent to support the rookie QB in Year 1? Adam Thielen turns 33 before camp closes and no longer finds separation with regularity, while his partner atop the WR depth chart, D.J. Chark, has just 37 catches since 2021 after missing time with injuries. The Panthers will be asking third-year wideout Terrace Marshall Jr. to finally make a leap and rookie Jonathan Mingo to contribute early. It would also help if new tight end Hayden Hurst can deliver the third 50-catch season of his career.
4) Defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero is switching the Panthers' base scheme from 4-3 to 3-4 during his first year in Carolina. Players will have to adjust, such as star pass rusher Brian Burns switching from defensive end to outside linebacker in a contract year. Whatever hiccups occur, Evero is just the man to soothe them. He interviewed for five head coaching vacancies last cycle -- including Carolina -- and his decision to leave the Broncos and join the Panthers' staff was the steal of steals this offseason. Evero's new scheme and presence could be the secret ingredients to invigorating a defense that ranked 19th in scoring last year.
5) The Panthers' cornerback situation is a problem. Jaycee Horn is a stud, but he's played in just 16 games through two seasons and is already dealing with an ankle injury that forced him to miss mandatory minicamp. Carolina's CB2, Donte Jackson, is coming back from a torn Achilles suffered during his worst-graded year in both coverage and run defense by PFF. Jeremy Chinn is a tweener who could contribute as a big nickel corner but will also take on linebacker and safety duties. C.J. Henderson didn't prove worthy of a fifth-year option. The rest of the depth chart doesn't inspire confidence, either. The Panthers might look elsewhere to bolster this position group sooner than later.