Carolina Panthers veteran reveals immense difference under Dave Canales

The momentum is building around Dave Canales.
Andy Dalton
Andy Dalton / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

It hasn't taken Dave Canales long to implement his ethos across the Carolina Panthers. The head coach is younger than most tasked with holding top jobs around the league. This brought a fresh approach and renewed energy that quickly became a breath of fresh air across the franchise.

Canales has conviction in everything he does. He takes things one day at a time and focuses on getting the little things right. There's a vision for the future shared by his coaching staff and the front office. After so much mismanagement under previous regimes, to say this was a welcome change of pace is an understatement.

These improved teaching methods are having a positive impact. Canales is resonating well with his players. He's not being too overbearing, preferring to build confidence back gradually and getting the fundamentals correct in pursuit of improved on-field fortunes.

Andy Dalton reveals positive change under Carolina Panthers head coach Dave Canales

It's not just the young players seeing changes. When asked about Canales' approach, veteran quarterback Andy Dalton highlighted the former Tampa Bay offensive coordinator's desire to build relationships as a strong step in the right direction. Something he believes can be the catalyst towards a brighter future based on comments via the team's website.

"I think from the beginning, Dave [Canales] has come in and he's tried to build relationships with everybody as quick as he can. And it's been fun for me to get to be around him. I've kind of known what he's done in his time in Seattle and then obviously last year in Tampa, but it's all about building up personal relationships and he's been trying to do that in a lot of different ways with a lot of different guys. Obviously, when you're new, there's a lot of new faces. It takes a lot, but you can tell how important it is to him."

Andy Dalton via

It's a small alteration. but it's a sign that togetherness is returning. There was a disconnect between players and coaches last season. Bryce Young had too many voices and differing opinions in his ear. What was perceived as an all-star staff turned into a calamity.

Canales brought in people he knew and trusted to help put his ambitious plans into action. There will be bumps in the road, but this added connection and sense of belonging should keep spirits on an even keel through the good times and bad.

Dalton was around to see how bad things got in 2023. He's also been around playoff-caliber teams enough to know what a good head coach looks like. It's early days, but the former second-round selection out of TCU likes what he sees from Canales so far.

This is a sentiment echoed across the roster. Players have been gushing in their praise of Canales and the feeling is mutual. It'll take time to become a contender once again, but there's growing belief among the fanbase that the Panthers are building something special with the long-term in mind.

Canales overcame plenty of adversity to reach this point. Returning the Panthers to a respected football organization and potential postseason challenger is the biggest test of his professional career by far. Having strong bonds with his players will go a long way to achieving this feat and providing some much-needed stability to an organization on its knees.