Legendary coach expecting big things Carolina Panthers HC Dave Canales

Dave Canales has a big task awaiting him in 2024.
Dave Canales
Dave Canales / Jared C. Tilton/GettyImages

Dave Canales was a bold choice by the Carolina Panthers. While his previous working relationship with general manager Dan Morgan helped, many around the media thought this opportunity came too soon. After all, the new head coach had just one year of play-calling experience with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before switching to one of their NFC South rivals.

This was not an opinion shared by Canales. Becoming an NFL head coach is something he's been preparing for ever since his days coaching high school football. He's been around winning organizations before and knows what it takes to reach the pinnacle. Hopefully, he can put this to good use in his monumental quest to turn the Panthers around.

It's early days, but Canales is leaving a tremendous first impression. He's enthusiastic, approachable, and fiercely driven. The popular figure seems to have everybody on the same page with one collective vision in mind. Unsurprisingly, the progressive thinker also got a seal of approval from someone who's been an integral part of his development.

Pete Carroll confident Dave Canales can turn the Carolina Panthers around

Pete Carroll gave Canales an NFL opportunity with the Seattle Seahawks. This was a shrewd decision by the legendary coach. Something he believes provided him with enough experience to thrive with his newfound responsibilities based on comments via FOX Sports.

"He has the background, the understanding, the philosophy and the principles, all of that. He gets to use whatever he wants to. We did a lot of winning, a lot of good things, had our hardships, so he's had a really well-rounded experience. I don't think there's any doubt that's going to help, because there's going to be some hardships along the way, figuring it out. Somebody's going to have to hold the vision of the future, and he will. He'll be really positive and forward-thinking. He won't let things knock him off course. He'll be really resilient. He'll show them what they can become and stick to it."

Pete Carroll via FOX Sports

When looking at the way Canales goes about his business, it's hard to overlook the similarities with Carroll. His boundless energy and enthusiasm. His ability to get teachings over in a way that resonates with the modern-day player. His creative nuances and knack for keeping everyone motivated. It's all there.

Canales needs to prove capable of running an NFL game-day operation as head coach. He's learned from one of the best in Carroll. Now, it's time to carve out his path in pursuit of similar accolades.

That's a lofty bar for which to aim.

There wasn't much Carroll didn't accomplish. He's also one of the few coaches who transitioned from college to the pros seamlessly. His longevity and adjustability formed the core components behind his success. If Canales achieves anything similar, the Panthers are in the best possible hands.

Progress into contention might not happen right away. Canales inherited a complete mess that could take a while to completely clean up. Getting the fundamentals correct and the improved schematic concepts are the first objectives. After that, it's a case of fine-tuning everything and keeping spirits high.

This cannot be another failed head coaching appointment from the Panthers. Canales needs to get the leniency and time from team owner David Tepper. Being erratic is no longer an option, especially with the long-term implications that would arise with another hasty firing.

Carroll and Canales have the same spirit animal. With any luck, this can drag the Panthers out of the doldrums and back to the promised land.