Is Dave Canales the Best Coaching Hire of the 2024 Offseason?

The Carolina Panthers may have finally landed the right head coach.
Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
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Dave Canales is like a breath of fresh air to the Carolina Panthers. A young, brilliant, organized, energetic head coach that has a detailed approach to every aspect of his life.

Since the firing of Ron Rivera in 2019, the Panthers have lacked true leadership and clarity from the head coaching spot. I don't believe that will be the case with Canales. He and GM Dan Morgan have a plan for how they want to go about building this thing and that head coach-GM alignment is something that hasn't existed in Carolina for several years.

While Canales seems like the perfect man for the job, there were some other really good hires this coaching cycle. Is Canales among the best? In a roundtable discussion of tabbing the best offseason hire, Sports Illustrated's Gilberto Manzano pounded the table for the Panthers' new lead man.

"Harbaugh is probably the right answer, but I can make a compelling case for the two-for-one coaching special the Carolina Panthers pulled off in the offseason. 

"Panthers owner David Tepper finally got something right after he hired Dave Canales as head coach and retained Ejiro Evero as defensive coordinator. Evero could have easily left after the dysfunctional season in Carolina, but Canales and Tepper convinced him to stay after the defensive guru didn’t land a head-coaching opportunity. (He probably will in the near future.) Continuity should help a Panthers’ defense needing plenty of help outside of stud defensive tackle Derrick Brown.

"The arrival of Canales should put Bryce Young on the right track after a rocky rookie season, too. He helped Geno Smith and Baker Mayfield reignite their careers during coaching stops with the Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 

'If the Panthers’ offensive line holds up, Young and new weapons Xavier Legette and Diontae Johnson could do wonders in Canales’s offensive scheme."

I do agree Harbaugh probably deserves to viewed as the top guy, considering he's already proven to be a successful NFL head coach. However, Canales has the potential to be something special if he can succeed in getting Bryce Young and this franchise on track. It's tough to put them in any kind of order, but I'd say Harbaugh, Canales, and Mike MacDonald are an interchangeable top three.


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