Adam Thielen Excited about the New Guy

Jun 14, 2023; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers wide receiver Adam Thielen (19) on the way to practice during the Carolina Panthers minicamp. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings released longtime wideout Adam Thielen on March 10th after 10 years with the organization.

Thielen joined the Vikings in 2013 as an undrafted free agent, spent a year on the practice squad, and eventually clawed his way up the depth chart to Pro Bowl stardom.

Adam Thielen Excited about the New Guy

About a week after departing the Vikings three months ago, Thielen signed with the Carolina Panthers for three years and $25 million, an upstart club hoping to do big things under new head coach Frank Reich.

Adam Thielen Excited
Adam Thielen of the Minnesota Vikings walks the red carpet before the NFL Honors awards special at the Phoenix Convention Center on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2023. © Joe Rondone/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Roughly five weeks after Thielen signed on Carolina’s dotted line, the Panthers used the first overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft to nab the University of Alabama’s Bryce Young to kickstart some winning, and Thielen is quite excited about the selection.

Thielen hopped on The Rich Eisen Show this week and mentioned his new quarterback, “You know, first overall pick, with all the hype and all that, you know there’s gonna be a lot of potential, and you know he’s gonna have a lot of talent. But I think he just kinda surprised a lot of guys of how prepared he was for the NFL game.”

Departing the Vikings, Thielen banked the fourth-most receiving yards in franchise history, only trailing Cris Carter, Randy Moss, and Anthony Carter.

Jun 14, 2023; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers head coach Frank Reich watches quarterback Bryce Young (9) during the Carolina Panthers minicamp. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports.

Thielen continued about Young, “I think sometimes it’s hard in those moments — because you’re in shorts and t-shirt, right? So you don’t want to get too excited about — whether that’s your team or individually — you don’t want to get too excited in the summer because it’s a different game when you put pads on. But, at the same time, the way he moves in the pocket, the way that he adjusts and can get the ball out on time and accurate, and he can make adjustments and things like that.”

The Panthers are forecasted to win 7.5 games in 2023. Minnesota has an 8.5-win over-under.

Adam Thielen prepares to make a drive on the first hole during the 2023 Annexus Pro-Am at TPC Scottsdale on Feb. 8, 2023. © Alex Gould/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK.

“It’s impressive. It gets you excited to get back working together,” Thielen concluded.

Carolina has fingers crossed on Young, its great hope to end quarterback malarkey that has beset the organization since Cam Newton’s downturn. In the last four seasons, the Panthers have auditioned Kyle Allen, Teddy Bridgewater, Sam Darnold, Jacob Eason, Will Grier, Baker Mayfield, and P.J. Walker at quarterback — mostly to no avail. As the No. 1 overall pick, Young has a more reasonable chance to end the QB madness in Carolina.

May 12, 2023; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Bryce Young (9) and wide receiver Jonathan Mango (15) talk during the Carolina Panthers rookie camp at the Atrium Practice Facility in Charlotte, NC.Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports.

And if Thielen’s early prognosis is correct, Young is on the right path.

The Vikings travel to Charlotte for a date with Thielen’s Panthers on October 1st.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

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