5 Carolina Panthers who aren't safe with Dave Canales as head coach

Big changes could be coming under new head coach Dave Canales.

Dave Canales
Dave Canales / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
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Which Carolina Panthers players should be nervously looking over their shoulders following the appointment of head coach Dave Canales?

Dave Canales is going to tackle his newfound responsibilities with energy, enthusiasm, and accountability. The Carolina Panthers head coach left a notable impact during his introductory presser, outlining his vision for the franchise concisely and with purpose. While fans have been fooled by first impressions before, the energy seemed different this time around.

There is a significant amount of work ahead for Canales. The Panthers are currently being perceived as the NFL's bottom feeder. It might take time for this to change, but staying the course if things are tough early on represents a sensible course of action for everyone associated with the franchise.

Canales will discuss what more is needed in depth with Dan Morgan over the coming weeks. His job is also going to focus on developing those already on the books. Anyone not displaying the right characteristics or failing to get with the program can be shown the door.

With this in mind, here are five Panthers players who aren't safe with Canales as head coach.

Ian Thomas - Carolina Panthers TE

We cannot look at Ian Thomas as a development project anymore. He's been in the league since 2018. He's one of the team's longest-serving players. Thanks to that, we've got a broad perspective about what he is.

There is no miracle cure where Thomas is concerned. He's spurned countless chances to establish himself as the genuine No. 1 tight end since Greg Olsen left in 2020. The former Indiana college star is a decent enough blocker, but one could also make a case for this part of his game regressing last season as well.

Dave Canales needs to divert away from the veteran, in all honesty. Hayden Hurst is still around and Tommy Tremble remains a player with athletic promise. Couple this with the Carolina Panthers potentially adding another explosive pass-catcher to the room, a situation could emerge where Thomas is deemed surplus to requirements.

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