Sources Panthers sign Dave Canales from Buccaneers as coach –

Sources: Panthers sign Dave Canales from Buccaneers as coach – ESPN

  • Sources Panthers sign Dave Canales from Buccaneers as coach –.png&h=80&w=80&scale=crop

    David Newton, ESPN Staff Writer January 25, 2024, 12:19 p.m. ET


      David Newton is an NFL reporter for ESPN covering the Carolina Panthers. Newton began covering Carolina in 1995 and joined ESPN as a NASCAR reporter in 2006 before joining NFL Nation in 2013. You can follow Newton on Twitter at @DNewtonespn.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Carolina Panthers plan to hire Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Dave Canales as their new head coach, sources tell ESPN's Adam Schefter.

“It’s getting done,” a source told Schefter on Thursday.

Canales' contract length and other details have not yet been clarified, a league source told ESPN.

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The Panthers hope the 42-year-old Canales can do for Bryce Young what he did for quarterbacks Russell Wilson, Geno Smith and Baker Mayfield.

Canales had his second interview with the Panthers on Wednesday in Charlotte, where he met with team owner David Tepper, new general manager Dan Morgan and other members of the selection committee.

Morgan served with Canales on the Seattle Seahawks' staff for eight years from 2010 to 2017, when Canales was the Seahawks' wide receivers coach. Familiarity with Morgan and the fact that he was a disciple of former Seattle head coach Pete Carroll were a factor.

Canales started at Carroll in 2009 as USC's strength and conditioning coach and followed him to Seattle.

Canales was the Seahawks' passing game coordinator in 2020 when Wilson set career highs with 40 touchdowns and a 68.8 completion percentage while also passing for 4,212 yards.

He was quarterbacks coach for Seattle in 2022 when Smith threw for a career-high 4,282 yards and 30 touchdowns with a 69.8 completion percentage.

He was the offensive coordinator in Tampa Bay last season when Mayfield, who spent the previous season with the Panthers, threw for a career-high 4,044 yards, 28 touchdowns and a 64.3 completion percentage.

Canales will inherit Young, the No. 1 pick in the 2023 draft, who statistically had one of the worst seasons in NFL history for a quarterback selected with the top pick.

The Panthers went 2-14 in Young's 16 starts (he missed one game with an ankle injury) and threw 11 touchdowns to 10 interceptions with a 59.8 completion percentage. His overall QBR (33.3) ranked 29th out of 30 qualifying quarterbacks, better only than Zach Wilson of the New York Jets at 30.5.

Canales takes over a Carolina team that had the NFL's worst record at 2-15 in 2023 and has had six straight losing seasons since Tepper bought the team in 2018.

According to a league source, the Panthers entered the search with Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson as their primary target. But multiple sources said Johnson prefers at least one other team, the Washington Commanders, to Carolina, despite being from the Carolinas.

Johnson would not have been available for an in-person interview until after Sunday's NFC Championship game against the San Francisco 49ers.

ESPN's Jenna Laine contributed to this report.