Former Carolina Panthers QB gives Dave Canales huge seal of approval

Baker Mayfield heaped praise on new Carolina Panthers head coach Dave Canales.

Dave Canales
Dave Canales / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
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Former Carolina Panthers quarterback Baker Mayfield gave a huge seal of approval to Dave Canales being their next head coach.

Dave Canales is the man chosen to be the Carolina Panthers' next head coach. It came as something of a surprise, but his infectious enthusiasm and passion to take the team into a better era seems to be getting the fanbase onside with cautious optimism.

Canales is an innovative offensive mind. He's got experience galvanizing quarterbacks throughout his spells with the Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Panthers are banking on the same occurring with Bryce Young, who went through some significant complications as a rookie.

Of course, one player Canales is responsible for turning around is ex-Carolina signal-caller Baker Mayfield. Things turned sour quickly after his trade from the Cleveland Browns. He worked hard to pick himself off the canvas. It now seems as if he'll be rewarded with a new deal in Tampa.

Carolina Panthers are in good hands with Dave Canales

When discussing the Panthers' decision to hire Canales, the former Oklahoma phenom couldn't have been more complimentary based on comments via USA Today Sports. Mayfield pointed to the coach's authenticity and energy as being rare traits that can steer Carolina positively after years of languishing among the NFL's also-rans.

"He’s an unbelievable guy. Somebody that is truly authentic and optimistic about everything, that it brings a different aspect of football . . . it’s rare. The first guy I’ve ever been around that shows up with the same positive attitude every single day and it doesn’t waver at all. They’re gonna get a guy that his infectious personality—it’s gonna go throughout the building."

Baker Mayfield via USA Today Sports
Baker Mayfield praised Dave Canales' ability. Something that can hopefully help Bryce Young.
Bryce Young and Baker Mayfield / Julio Aguilar/GettyImages

Canales might be getting this job after just one year of play-calling experience, but he comes from solid roots and genuinely believes he can excel. Coming from the Pete Carroll tree gives him a solid foundation from which to build. There's been plenty of adversity to overcome, but this has made the coach even stronger.

There's just no telling how Mayfield would have fared with the Buccaneers had he not benefitted from someone like Canales around. The pair hit it off instantly. They formed a tremendous working relationship. Even when things weren't going well, the coach kept him on an even keel as they worked towards a common goal.

It'll be interesting to see if Canales can work his magic in the same timeframe where Young is concerned. The talent is evident. There is a big task ahead to work out some issues in addition to his confidence levels. But the Heisman Trophy winner can look at his new coach's track record with a sense of optimism.

The playing personnel around Young must be enhanced. That's a job for Dan Morgan as part of his newfound aligned vision for the future. Canales will get input, but his primary objective will be to focus on the coaching aspect and work out kinks in the signal-caller's game that enable him to make a better go of things next time around.

If - after the next two seasons - Young fails to demonstrate much growth, then it'll be clear Carolina made the wrong call at No. 1 overall in the 2023 NFL Draft. It's way too premature for that right now - especially considering the mitigating circumstances around his rookie failings. More importantly, he's got Canales' belief and full support.

That can only mean good things moving forward. Judging by Mayfield's comments, Young is in good hands.

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