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Panthers hire ex-Seahawks assistant Dave Canales as head coach

A longtime assistant under Pete Carroll gets his first head coaching job in the NFL.

NFL: AUG 11 Preseason - Steelers at Buccaneers Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Having overseen the career turnarounds of Geno Smith and Baker Mayfield over the past two seasons, Dave Canales is now headed to Charlotte work with 2023 No. 1 overall pick Bryce Young down.

The former Seattle Seahawks assistant and Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator is set to become the Carolina Panthers head coach, according to various media reports.

Former Seahawks executive and longtime Panthers linebacker Dan Morgan was just promoted to general manager, replacing the fired former Seahawks Vice president of football operations Scott Fitterer. Morgan and Canales were a part of Pete Carroll’s initial staff in 2010, with Morgan departing for the Buffalo Bills in 2018.

Canales has worn many hats during his time with the Seahawks. Originally brought over from Pete’s final USC team, Canales spent eight seasons as Seattle’s wide receivers coach. He moved to quarterbacks coach from 2018-2019, which coincided with two of Russell Wilson’s best statistical marks as a passer. From 2020-2021, Canales was the pass game coordinator, before moving back to quarterbacks coach for Geno Smith’s first season as Seattle’s starter. Canales was hired by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for his first offensive coordinator job, overseeing Baker Mayfield’s best statistical season of his career en route to a surprise Divisional Round appearance.

The Panthers were 2-15 last season and didn’t score a point over their final two games. It’ll be a hell of a task to rebuild this offense, but Canales seems up for the challenge. He is the first offensive assistant from Pete Carroll’s Seahawks staff to land an NFL head coaching role. Darrell Bevell had a couple of interim stints in recent seasons, but never a full-time position.

In case you’re wondering about the Buccaneers receiving draft compensation as a result of Canales’ departure, this is not applicable in Dave’s case. Canales is of Mexican descent and thus a minority head coach hire, but he was only with the Bucs for one season and not the minimum of two.

Congrats to Dave on his new job!

There are now only three teams left without a head coach, including the Seahawks.

New Coaches

Las Vegas Raiders - Antonio Pierce

Tennessee Titans - Brian Callahan

New England Patriots - Jerod Mayo

Los Angeles Chargers - Jim Harbaugh

Carolina Panthers - Dave Canales

Still Vacant

Atlanta Falcons

Washington Commanders

Seattle Seahawks