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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Carolina Panthers RB dynamic

While there is a primary focus on improving the passing game to ensure Bryce Young meets his lofty targets, Dave Canales must also cement the running back dynamic. This is an area of the field that's undergone great change in recent years, which began when the Carolina Panthers traded All-Pro stud Christian McCaffrey to the San Francisco 49ers.

Miles Sanders came in on decent money last spring and failed to deliver. Chuba Hubbard stepped into the RB1 role and displayed enough to suggest he could carry the load in a contract year. Canales will also be aware of a growing trend around the league that centers on a committee backfield approach.

This is the best way to keep opposing defenses guessing. It also minimizes the risk of injury for players who absorb more physical contact than most. Canales has a complex riddle ahead when it comes to balancing the workload of Hubbard and Sanders. The Panthers could also add a third option if Raheem Blackshear doesn't get a new deal.

Perhaps using Hubbard in between the tackles and Sanders as the outside/pass-catching back might be a good option to consider. This is dependent on the former second-round pick out of Penn State bouncing back after one of the worst seasons of his professional career. That's why looking for another alternative on the cheap is a smart move from those in power.

If Canales can resolve this difficult decision successfully, the run game should improve - especially if the blocking concepts are altered to maximize the strengths of Carolina's starting unit. Something that would also relieve the pressure on Young for good measure.

This brings us nicely to my final point…