4 difficult decisions facing Carolina Panthers HC Dave Canales in 2024

There is a lot of hard work ahead for new Carolina Panthers head coach Dave Canales.

Dave Canales
Dave Canales / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
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What difficult decisions must Carolina Panthers head coach Dave Canales address as he looks to hit the ground running in his new role?

Dave Canales is an inspiring figure. The Carolina Panthers are convinced that this is the man capable of leading them back to prominence. But there is a lot of hard work ahead to turn the NFL's worst franchise around.

Canales is under no illusions as to the size of his next challenge. He's taking things one day at a time. He isn't focused too much on the long-term. He wants to build relationships and get everyone pulling in the same direction - something that was lost under Frank Reich's uninspired leadership.

Nobody should be expecting this return to potential prosperity to be immediate. The Panthers have too many holes to fill and too many questions surrounding current playing personnel to suggest otherwise. This is all about gradual progression into contention, although Ejiro Evero's decision to stick around could speed things up.

With that being said, here are four difficult decisions facing Canales in 2024.

Carolina Panthers OL improvements

Protecting Bryce Young more effectively is of paramount importance. Injuries to the offensive line didn't help. Dave Canales must also implement blocking concepts that play to the strengths of those already around.

Ikem Ekwonu, Bradley Bozeman, and Austin Corbett just didn't seem suited to the zone-blocking demands of Thomas Brown and Frank Reich. Finding the right balance is going to be a core component of Canales' strategy working with new offensive line coach Joe Gilbert this offseason.

Reinforcements are arriving through free agency and the NFL Draft, but the implementation of a scheme that suits will be among Canales' most difficult conundrums. After all, the 2022 season proved the current projected starting five have the talent to be an extremely cohesive unit if deployed correctly.