Panthers' new brass: 'It's going to get better'

League: NFL

Posted on: 01 Feb, 2024 at 06:31 PM

Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Panthers introduced new general manager Dan Morgan and new head coach Dave Canales on Thursday, and Morgan made a vow to fans.

"This is a dream come true for both of us," Morgan said. "We're going to work our butts off. ... It's going to get better. ... We're going to do things the right way to build a championship team here."

The Panthers finished 2-15 last season and haven't had a winning year since 2017, when they were 11-5 but lost in the wild-card round of the playoffs.

For the Panthers to succeed, it will start with quarterback Bryce Young. The team gave up considerable draft capital to move up in the 2023 draft to spend the No. 1 selection on Young, who had an underwhelming rookie season.

Canales was the quarterbacks coach with the Seattle Seahawks in 2022 when Geno Smith was named NFL Comeback Player of the Year. As offensive coordinator last season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he called the plays that helped Baker Mayfield throw for a career high in yardage.

"Attention to the details, first and foremost. It starts off with relationships," Canales said of Young. "I want him to be the best possible version of himself."

He said he intends to call the plays in Carolina and will develop packages that best suit Young's skill set.

"There are certain things you can do to help," Canales said of aiding his 5-foot-10 quarterback. "There are ways to find what that quarterback's comfortable seeing."

Canales began his coaching career at a Los Angeles-area high school in 2004, then eventually landed in 2009 at Southern California and on the staff of Pete Carroll, whom he followed to the Seattle Seahawks the next year. This is his first head-coaching opportunity at any level.

"Can I say I'm nervous? Is that all right? This is a big task," Canales said. "This is serious for me. I don't take that lightly ... I'm fired up about it. I love a great challenge."

Morgan, who worked with Canales in Seattle, appears to be on a mission.

"We're super passionate about bringing a team that the fans can be proud of, that our players can be proud of," Morgan said. "When teams drive up to this stadium, we want them to fear that logo. The logo has to be feared again. ‘Cause right now, it's not feared. So we gotta get that back. But I think it starts with getting the right players."

--Field Level Media