Dave Canales had his introductory press conference yesterday alongside general manager Dan Morgan. The new Carolina Panthers head coach had a lot to say about team building, Bryce Young, and how he approaches each and every day as a coach. Through all of that shined, constantly, the relentless positivity and energy that we’ve heard about from every stop in his career thus far.
The biggest takeaway for me was how flexible he intends to be. “I love the idea of maximizing every drop out of every player,” he said at one point. He returned to that sentiment several times during his opening remarks and while answering questions afterwards.
That means he wants to run an offense that Bryce Young will excel in. To get there, Canales’ process is about “championship moments and championship days” all building towards a better team. When specifically asked about Young, Canales referenced his work with Russell Wilson, Geno Smith, and Baker Mayfield, and said that he helped them all be great with “attention to details.”
Canales said that “it all starts with relationships” and that he wants “Bryce to be the best possible version of himself.” Twice he said that the Panthers are going to “become what Bryce is great at in the passing game,” even going so far as to reference other talent and say that he wants to answer “What’s the best run game for Chuba?”
Maximizing Young is an obvious task for the Panthers new head coach, but melding that with what’s best for Chuba Hubbard—if he, indeed, is the Panthers top running back in September—speaks to a wider interest in actually coaching to his players’ strengths.
That could be crucial for a young coach working with a limited roster and with limited resources to improve that roster. It is also impressive that I don’t think Canales thinks of the Panthers in that way.
He sees talented players who can be better than last seasons’ record. He, in his own words, still sees Young as the obvious top quarterback from last year’s draft class. A good number of our own commenters will be turned off by that sentiment, but Canales probably doesn’t care.
In fact, he’s “more and more fired up about the opportunity to work with [Young’s] amazing talent.” He humble bragged about his previous successes by referencing that he never got to work with a top pick before—at least, not early in their career. Sorry, Baker.
To sum up Canales’ introduction as the new head coach for the Carolina Panthers, I’d say the coach was optimistic, aware of his circumstances, and excited to prove that he was the right choice for the job.
None of us know if he will prove that or not, but it’s hard not to root for the guy all the same.
If you want, you can watch the full press conference here on the team’s website. It’s an approximately 45 minute video.