The NFL head coaching cycle is well underway, as a few teams have made their hires. Well, with one of the most recent hires, Russell Wilson may have a logical new team for the 2024 season. Obviously, a lot can happen between now and the start of the 2024 NFL season, but for Russell Wilson, he may have a new team on his list.
On Thursday, the Carolina Panthers hired Dave Canales to be their new head coach, replacing Frank Reich and interim HC, Chris Tabor. Well, who is Canales and how does this pertain to Russell Wilson? Dave Canales, from 2010-2022, was with the Seattle Seahawks in a variety of roles. He was there for the entirety of Russell Wilson's tenure with them.
Notably, Canales served as the team's wide receivers coach, quarterbacks coach, passing game coordinator, and quarterbacks coach again. During Wilson's tenure from 2012-2021, Canales was the WRs coach, QBs coach, and passing game coordinator.
In 2022, he was the QBs coach when Geno Smith broke out, leading the NFC in touchdown passes. In 2023, Canales took the offensive coordinator job with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and he oversaw QB Baker Mayfield having the best season of his career. Mayfield tossed 28 TDs against 10 INTs in the regular season.
Over the past two years especially, Canales has worked wonders with afterthoughts at QB. And during Wilson's Hall of Fame tenure in Seattle, Dave Canales was at the center of it all. Well, now that Canales will be the HC in Carolina, doesn't that give Wilson a reason to head there? The Panthers drafted Bryce Young with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, and Young didn't really do too well.
But to be fair to Young, he was playing behind a porous offensive line and just did not have NFL-caliber weapons to use. I think if you're Russell Wilson, you are looking at the Panthers as a logical destination, as there is no guarantee that Young develops in year two, and if not, Wilson could even get some starts.
The front office that drafted Bryce Young is no longer there, so in some respects, they do not have to necessarily make Bryce Young work. And there is a possibility that Young simply is not an NFL starting QB. Russell Wilson could get to work with an old coach and may even have the chance to start a ton of games for them. Moreover, the Panthers are in the NFC South, which is clearly the weakest division in the NFL.
Russell Wilson could see a giant opportunity in front of him if he were to follow Dave Canales to Carolina.
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