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Dave Canales, the offensive coordinator for the Buccaneers, is joining NFC South rival Panthers as their new head coach.

Panthers owner David Tepper is on a mission to secure a head coach for the long haul, and it looks like he’s found his ideal candidate in Buccaneers offensive coordinator Dave Canales. Tepper has expressed his desire for a coach with staying power, aiming for a tenure of “20 or 30 years,” and the announcement of Canales suggests a significant step towards that goal.

Canales, a 42-year-old coaching talent, left a lasting impression during an in-person interview on Wednesday, earning the approval of Tepper and the Panthers’ leadership, as revealed by CBS Sports Lead NFL insider Jonathan Jones.

The decision to bring in Canales comes hot on the heels of the Panthers being linked to former Titans coach Mike Vrabel. The move follows an extensive search that included interviews with other notable candidates like Lions OC Ben Johnson and Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn. Notably, the hiring reunites Canales with the new Panthers general manager, Dan Morgan, marking a reunion from their collaborative years with the Seahawks between 2010 and 2017.

Originally from Harbor City, California, Canales stepped into the role of offensive coordinator for the first time in 2023. His tenure proved impactful, contributing to the revival of quarterback Baker Mayfield’s career and aiding the Buccaneers in clinching their third consecutive NFC South title. The team further made a noteworthy playoff run, securing an upset victory over the defending NFC champion Eagles in the wild-card round. Prior to his stint with the Buccaneers, Canales spent 13 years with the Seahawks, serving in various capacities such as wide receivers coach, quarterbacks coach, and passing game coordinator.

During his time in Seattle, collaborating with the renowned coach Pete Carroll, Canales played a pivotal role in the development of nine-time Pro Bowl QB Russell Wilson. Wilson experienced some of his best performances with Canales as the passing game coordinator. Now, in Carolina, Canales is set to take on the responsibility of mentoring Bryce Young, the Panthers’ 2023 No. 1 pick, whose rookie-year challenges reportedly played a role in the mid-season dismissal of the previous coach, Frank Reich.

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