HomeTrade RumorsDave Canales Hired as Head Coach of the Panthers

Dave Canales Hired as Head Coach of the Panthers

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7:38pm: The Panthers have officially announced the deal, bringing in their division rival’s offensive coordinator to lead the team. Canales will be the seventh head coach in the Panthers’ young franchise history, marking his first opportunity as a head coach in the NFL.

According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, Canales has signed a six-year contract with the Panthers, indicating a significant commitment from the team to their newest head coach. This long-term collaboration has the potential to benefit both parties if Canales succeeds in his new role.

11:07am: Dave Canales‘ one-year run in Tampa Bay has earned him another offseason move, this time to lead a coaching staff. The Panthers are nearing a deal to hire the Buccaneers OC as their new head coach, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.

While Canales’ lack of experience relative to other candidates may come as a surprise, the Panthers were impressed by his performance during his first interview and subsequent meetings. His offensive background aligns with the team’s pursuit of a coach with a similar focus.

During his time with the Seahawks, Canales worked with the team from 2010-22, primarily focusing on the quarterbacks. His ability to elevate the performance of players like Geno Smith and Baker Mayfield has raised his stock considerably.

Carolina’s interest in Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson during last year’s hiring cycle remained, but it has now been eliminated with the hiring of Canales. Canales will focus on developing young players like Bryce Young, and significant changes along the O-line and in the skill-position room can be expected with a new GM and head coach in place.

In the wake of Canales drawing serious interest from the Panthers, it was learned that Buccaneers QBs coachThad Lewiswas a prime candidate to take over as Tampa Bay’s OC. With the former having agreed to Carolina’s HC gig, it will be interesting to see if the latter does get tapped for the promotion. If not, the reigning NFC South winners will need to join the competition for outside additions at the coordinator spots.

Frank Reich entered last season with significant expectations given his track record and the staff he assembled. Only 11 games into the campaign, however, Reich was let go, a sign of the reputation for impatience that owner David Tepper has generated in recent years in particular. Tepper’s personal involvement in a number of key personnel and roster decisions has also led many to assume top HC candidates would steer clear of Carolina.

Once the Canales deal becomes official, the 2024 cycle will have seen five hires made. The Falcons, Seahawks, and Commanders still have vacancies on their staffs, and their searches will continue with one fewer candidate on the market.

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