Tampa Bay loses its offensive coordinator, who takes a coaching position

CHARLOTTE.- The Carolina Panthers They reached an agreement to hire the offensive coordinator of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Dave Canales, as their new head coach, according to two people familiar with the situation.

Canales informed Tampa Bay that he will accept the job, although there are still details to be finalized before the appointment is announced, according to sources who spoke to The Associated Press on Thursday on condition of anonymity.

Canales will be Carolina’s seventh head coach since owner David Tepper took over in 2018. He will join a team that went 2-15 last season and does not have a first-round pick in the 2024 draft.

Of Mexican roots, Canales joins Ron Rivera as the second head coach of Latino origin to be hired by the Panthers.

Also on Thursday, the Atlanta Falcons decided to hire Raheem Norris, the offensive coordinator of the Los Angeles Rams, as their head coach.

Canales and Norris brought the number of minority coaches who have signed to coach teams this cycle to four, joining Jerod Mayo in New England and Antonio Pierce in Las Vegas. This brings the total in the NFL to nine, joining Mike Tomlin (Pittsburgh), DeMeco Ryans (Houston), Todd Bowles (Tampa Bay), Mike McDaniel (Miami) and Robert Saleh (New York Jets).

It would be the most minority head coaches in the NFL to start a season. Two teams have not yet hired their top quarterback: the Seahawks and Commanders.

The hiring caps a meteoric rise for Canales, 42, who served as quarterbacks coach for the Seattle Seahawks in 2022.

Canales spent 13 seasons in Seattle, where he worked alongside Dan Morgan, who was recently hired as the Panthers’ general manager and president of football operations. Morgan replaced general manager Scott Fitterer, who was fired at the end of the season.

Good reputation in Tampa:

In Tampa Bay, Canales reached the divisional round of the playoffs with Baker Mayfield at quarterback in his first and only season as offensive coordinator.

Canales’ main task will be to consolidate quarterback Bryce Young, the first pick in the 2023 draft and who did not shine as a rookie. Young was 2-14 as a starter and averaged less than 180 passing yards per game, accumulating just 11 touchdown passes and 10 interceptions.