3 ambitious Carolina Panthers goals under Dave Canales in 2024

Dave Canales has ambitious plans for the Carolina Panthers.
Dave Canales
Dave Canales / Jared C. Tilton/GettyImages
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The Carolina Panthers have bold ambitions to gain respectability next season. Dave Canales is the man tasked with getting this roster up to speed after his surprising appointment to head coach. He didn't shirk the perceived poisoned chalice, embracing it fully and genuinely believing his methods could help this franchise get back on its feet.

It's not going to happen overnight. This was a two-win team last season that descended into complete embarrassment across the board. Canales seems to be improving the confidence in his players, but starting well is the only way fans will be convinced this project can be successful.

Canales made no secret of his belief things can take a positive turn quickly. He's working on the fundamentals in all phases and implementing schematic concepts offensively that seem better suited to the options available. Some glaring questions surrounding certain position groups could hold them back, but showing signs of life looks well within their capabilities.

The former Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator seems to be aiming higher. With this in mind, here are three ambitious goals the Panthers can aim for in 2024.

Carolina Panthers increase sacks per game by 1.0

Generating consistent pressure proved challenging for the Carolina Panthers in 2024. Brian Burns and Derrick Brown performed well, but it was lackluster aside from that. This has to change if the defense wants to remain competitive after some significant departures throughout the offseason.

Burns was traded to the New York Giants. Frankie Luvu left for the Washington Commanders in free agency. Yetur Gross-Matos - who emerged as a dependable rotational piece after transitioning to a 3-4 outside linebacker - departed for the San Francisco 49ers. Jadeveon Clowney, D.J. Wonnum, and K'Lavon Chaisson signed, but whether they can hit the ground running remains to be seen.

The Panthers were dead-last in sacks per game last season with 1.6. If Dave Canales and defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero can get this up by 1.0 in 2024, it'll do their chances the world of good.

This puts them middle of the pack league-wide based on recent numbers. However, it represents a significant step in the right direction after becoming a bottom feeder during the previous campaign.