Canales has a track record of getting the most out of quarterbacks. That skill will come in handy as he works to develop young Panthers QB Bryce Young. His offense in Tampa focused on explosive pass plays, something Carolina sorely lacked last season. While questions remain, there are reasons to be optimistic about the future.

New coach aims to spark offense

Excerpt: The Carolina Panthers hired Dave Canales as their new head coach. Canales aims to improve the Panthers’ offense by developing quarterback Bryce Young and adding explosive plays. His history coaching quarterbacks and time as Tampa Bay’s offensive coordinator makes him an interesting hire.

Early Days Coaching

Canales started coaching at the high school and community college levels in Los Angeles. He met future Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll while coaching at Carson High School and El Camino College.

Canales joined Carroll’s staff at USC in 2009. He then followed Carroll to the NFL and the Seahawks in 2010.

Success With Seahawks

Canales coached Seahawks wide receivers from 2010-2017. This included working with stars like Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett. The Seahawks won the Super Bowl in 2014.

In 2018, Canales moved to coaching Russell Wilson as the quarterbacks coach. Wilson earned second-team All-Pro honors in 2019. He also set career highs under Canales in 2020.

After stops as passing game coordinator and QB coach, Canales took over play-calling duties as offensive coordinator for Tampa Bay in 2023.

Quarterback Whisperer

Canales has a track record of success with quarterbacks. Russell Wilson and Geno Smith shined under his guidance in Seattle.

In Tampa Bay, Baker Mayfield had his best statistical season working with Canales. Mayfield set career highs in yards (4,044), touchdowns (28), and completion percentage (64.4%).

The Panthers hope Canales can work similar magic with second-year quarterback Bryce Young. Improving Young’s play is key for Carolina’s future.

What About the Offense?

Tampa Bay’s offense was average by most measures. But they generated explosive plays in the passing game.

Mayfield ranked sixth in the NFL with 60 completions of 20+ yards. He also ranked second with 12 completions of 40+ yards.

The Buccaneers struggled to run the ball, however. They ranked last in rushing yards and yards per carry.

More Passing Success?

In Carolina, look for Canales to emphasize the passing game again. Getting Bryce Young comfortable with more play action could lead to those explosive plays.

Upgrading the Panthers’ wide receivers will be key. Canales has shown he can develop young receivers early in his Seattle days. He also optimized production from veterans like Mike Evans and Chris Godwin in Tampa Bay.

The Panthers finished last in the NFL with just 31 passing plays over 20 yards. Better receivers paired with Canales’ scheme could improve that number.

Concerns About Canales

Canales has only called plays for one season, which is a small sample size. It’s fair to question how much of Tampa Bay’s success was due to Canales versus the surrounding talent.

The running game was also a weakness under Canales in Tampa Bay last season. Relying too heavily on the pass is risky, so the Panthers need to achieve more balance.

What it Means for Carolina

Still, there are reasons to be hopeful about Canales in Carolina. His history of developing quarterbacks could mean big things for Bryce Young.

If Canales can add more explosive pass plays while keeping defenses honest enough with the run, the Panthers’ offense could take a step forward.

Those explosive plays may lead bettors to wager more on Panthers futures at North Carolina sportsbooks. And Carolina games with over/under totals set in the 40s or 50s seem likely if the offense improves.

New North Carolina sports betting apps like BetMGM offer attractive sign-up offers to new bettors as well. The BetMGM North Carolina bonus code can provide $1,000 in free bets upon signup.

So while it’s still early, there are causes for optimism with Canales in Carolina. His offensive system and quarterback expertise could bring exciting football back to Charlotte in 2024.

✅ Fact Checked on February 1, 2024 by Ken Weaver