In what will become the Carolina Panthers fourth head coach hire since 2019, Dave Canales is expected to lead the struggling NFL franchise next season.
Dave Canales has been appointed head coach of the Carolina Panthers on a permanent six-year contract. He formerly oversaw offense for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and is now appointed as the fourth head coach since billionaire David Tepper has owned the Panthers.
Frank Reich was fired in November, following Matt Rhule and Ron Rivera, as the third Panthers coach to be dismissed by Tepper, who acquired the franchise for $2.2 billion in 2018.
Canales will be entrusted with rejuvenating rookie quarterback Bryce Young following a shaky start to his tenure, but is he up for the task with a Panthers team boasting a 31-68 record since 2018 – tied with the New York Jets for the league’s worst record in that period.
Who is Dave Canales?
Canales, who served as the quarterbacks coach for the Seattle Seahawks in 2022, collaborated with Dan Morgan, recently appointed general manager and president of football operations of the Carolina Panthers, for thirteen seasons in the Emerald City. Following the season’s conclusion, general manager Scott Fitterer was dismissed and succeeded by Morgan.
Canales entered the league in 2010 as the wide receivers coach for the Seattle Seahawks, a position he held for eight seasons and which was instrumental in the team’s 2013 Super Bowl victory. He collaborated with Russell Wilson for three more seasons as the team’s quarterbacks coach and two as the passing game coordinator before being hired by the Buccaneers last year.
Baker Mayfield, under Canales, contributed to the Bucs’ appearance in the NFC divisional playoffs in what was Canales’ debut and sole season as NFL offensive coordinator.
The maturation of quarterback Bryce Young, the No. 1 overall decision in the 2023 draft who struggled as a freshman, will be entrusted to Canales. Young finished his tenure as a starter with a 2-14 record, passing for an average of less than 180 yards per game and 11 touchdowns on ten interceptions.
Canales’ transformation of Mayfield potentially had an enduring impact on Tepper. The 2018 first-round pick was released late in the 2022 season after struggling with the Panthers during the prior season.
Why did the Panthers select Dave Canales?
Amidst the disarray of Carolina’s faithful supporters, grappling with their team’s challenging 2-15 record from the previous season, a unique perspective emerged through the lens of North Carolina betting apps. Observing the team’s struggles, users of these apps witnessed the Panthers’ tumultuous journey, reaping the benefits of yet another disappointing season reflected in an unimpressive win/loss and ATS (Against the Spread) record.
But now, many fans are wondering what Dave Canales could do for the struggling franchise; here’s a handful of benefits that the newly hired coach brings to the table:
His appointment as the Buccaneer’s offensive coordinator a year after quarterback Tom Brady’s retirement was an unpopular choice among some. This left them with Baker Mayfield and Kyle Trask, but Canales wasted no time capitalizing on Mayfield’s strengths.
Not only did it result in the Bucs claiming the NFC South title and a playoff berth, but Mayfield also returned to resembling the individual Cleveland initially drafted No. 1 overall.
Mayfield, who was transferred from Cleveland to Carolina in 2022 just before training camp, never appeared to have settled in and was ultimately released before joining the Rams. He completed 60.0 percent of his passes for 2,163 yards (6.0 yards per attempt) over ten contests while accumulating eight interceptions and ten touchdowns.
Mayfield demonstrated exceptional performance this season, finishing 64.3% of his passes for 4,044 yards (7.3 yards per attempt), with 28 touchdowns and ten interceptions.
During his season as quarterbacks coach for the Seattle Seahawks the year prior, he assisted in the Pro Bowl induction of journeyman Geno Smith, who set league records for completion percentage, yards gained (4,282), and touchdowns (30). Without minimizing Smith’s ten-year career, this is the only occasion he has ever received MVP ballots in a league.
Comparable accounts exist regarding the progress made by players under his guidance, such as the Seahawks receivers and during his tenure as Russell Wilson’s position coach.
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