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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Carolina Panthers win the NFC South

The Carolina Panthers descended into the NFL's laughingstock last season. They performed abysmally for the most part en route to a league-worst record. They didn't even have the No. 1 overall selection in the 2024 NFL Draft to show for it after handing it over to the Chicago Bears as part of their trade for quarterback Bryce Young.

Most expect this to be a progressive journey back to contention. The Panthers have to walk before they can run. Dave Canales must get things fundamentally sound and play efficient football within the devised systems. That sounds simple, but it's something the previous two head coaches couldn't implement consistently enough.

Nobody is expecting miracles from the Panthers. Most analysts predict another year of turmoil to secure another high-end draft pick. That's not an opinion shared by Canales, who believes his team can become one of the NFL's surprise packages if everything goes according to plan and they get some good luck on the health front.

Attaining a winning record might be a stretch. Winning the NFC South seems like a pipedream. However, anything can happen in the NFL and teams go from worst to first all the time.

This isn't the strongest division compared to others across the league. The Atlanta Falcons are favored to triumph thanks to the addition of veteran quarterback Kirk Cousins. The New Orleans Saints have questions to answer after another offseason manipulating the salary cap. Baker Mayfield is back for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but their fortunes remain precarious despite keeping their top stars around.

It's a tough challenge awaiting the Panthers, who are expected to be bottom of the division barrel once again. Canales thinks they can shock a few, but seeing is believing after fans were fooled by sold false promises and offseason delusions before.

Time will tell, but all signs point to Canales leading the Panthers on a gradual renaissance in the coming years.