Dave Canales' calm influence can help Carolina Panthers thrive in 2024

The head coach has given the Carolina Panthers a new lease of life.
Dave Canales
Dave Canales / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

One would be hard-pressed to find a more positive person than Dave Canales.

The Carolina Panthers head coach is enthusiastic beyond measure, adopting the same glass-half-full mindset to every potential complication and motivating all around him during the team's important transition under his leadership. It'll take much more to get this franchise off the proverbial canvas, but his methods are a breath of fresh air compared to previous regimes.

Canales has heard all the criticism and jibes directed at the Panthers since joining from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He's taken a mental note and keeping receipts as an extra source of inspiration for himself and the players. This reputation wasn't caused by the former offensive coordinator, but it's his job to get this wayward organization back on track.

Dave Canales' calm influence can help Carolina Panthers thrive

While most would be feeling the pressure - especially considering how trigger-happy team owner David Tepper has been with head coaches throughout his ownership - Canales remains even-keeled and purposeful as preparations for the 2024 campaign gather pace. Rather than using negativity in the national media as a force, he's looking at the possibilities while taking things in stages before Week 1 arrives based on comments via Fan Nation.

"I'm not a negative motivator. I'm about possibilities. I'm about how good we can become. I think some guys would be naturally motivated that way if they do (great), that's just never really worked for me. I don't know who the teams are, I look at the schedule, and I can't tell you whether I'm excited about it or not. I'm excited, it just makes it more real for me now that it's on paper. This season is going to happen whether we like it or not, here it comes. My expectation for our group is that we take it one week at a time and we just get better the following week by working hard and by working together."

What you see is what you get with Canales. He's overcome some personal demons to rise through the NFL's coaching ranks quickly. He takes nothing for granted, cherishes every moment, and has a personable approach that players naturally gravitate towards. After how things transpired throughout the Matt Rhule and Frank Reich years, this is a welcome shift.

Whether it bears fruit immediately remains to be seen. Canales needs a period of grace to implement his ideas. The Panthers are a long way from contending, so expecting miracles right away is unrealistic. That said, the improvements to playing personnel coupled with the coach's ability to galvanize quarterbacks could be enough for Carolina to be more competitive at the very least.

Canales will stick to his principles through the good times and bad. Having this constant, unwavering presence is going to have a calming influence on the roster during their inevitable times of struggle. He'll find the positives in absolutely everything while also critiquing in a softer way what needs to improve.

That's the perfect recipe for the modern-day player. This new-look roster has responded well to Canales over early offseason workouts. If the same trend continues throughout the summer, it could be the spark that ignites the Panthers back to respectability and beyond in the coming years.