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Carolina Panthers introduce new general manager and head coach

Carolina Panthers
Dan Morgan (left) and Dave Canales.

On Thursday, the Carolina Panthers held a news conference to introduce the Panthers' new head coach Dave Canales and general manager and president of football operations Dan Morgan. The pair are new to Charlotte but familiar with each other, after both being members of the Seattle Seahawks front office and coaching staff.

The Carolina Panthers are now on their seventh head coach under owner David Tepper, after Frank Reich was fired mid-season and special teams coordinator Chris Tabor brought in as the interim head coach.

Head Coach Speaks

Canales began his coaching career at his high school alma mater, Carson High School in Carson, California as an offensive coordinator. Canales eventually moved up to the NFL and became the Seahawks' wide receiver coach in 2007. Most recently, Canales spent a season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the offensive coordinator under head coach Todd Bowels last year.

Canales has already made his footprint by adding four new offensive coaches to his staff. Harold Goodwin will become the assistant head coach/ run coordinator, running backs coach Bernie Parmalee, wide receivers coach Rob Moore and offensive line coach Joe Gilbert.

During the press conference, Canales said he expects to bring defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero back for the upcoming season.

Oh my gosh.I mean, just the respect factor that I have going against them. I know this scheme is going against it,” Canales said.

“I just know it was really difficult on me for years, whether it was in Seattle going against the Rams in that family, or this year just going against EJ twice. “So, and this is really important for me especially as a first time head coach who's like, I'm here to make sure we get our football right, especially on the offensive side that we have that continuity with the players with, with EJ, you know, just being able to have the mentality that I saw that was really challenging to play against.”

Heading into the new season, the Panthers are looking for answers on how to get things turned around for a playoff berth. Canales said he plans to approach each day with a clean slate.

I think just approaching every single day, it's 1st and 10, I got a new set of downs, my whole call sheets at my disposal and got a bunch of fantastic people to go to work with today,” Canales said.

“It looks like putting a great staff together for me right now. It looks like getting with Dan, looking at this roster and really coming up with an airtight plan for who we want to become.”

During Canales’ career he’s found a knack for working with smaller quarterbacks after coaching Russell Wilson and Baker Mayfield. That could help Panthers' quarterback Bryce Young, who had a rough outing in his rookie season.

“We're going to grow to the capacity that he can handle,” said Canales

"There's got to be a commitment and a discipline about that. There was a growth curve there with Baker, here's where we're at today based on the information we have."

General Manager Speaks

The Panthers went on a search for a new general manager after Scott Fitterer was fired shortly after the season ended. Though a national search was done, Carolina found its new hire internally. Morgan recently returned to the franchise in 2021 and is also a former player.

Last season the Panthers had added several players during the free agency season along with selecting Young with their first overall pick. Heading into this year’s offseason, Morgan said he has an idea of what types of players he wants to sign.

"First of all, we need to find those leaders, those competitors as Jay Stew (Jonathan Stewart) would say those dogs, like we need some dogs. “

"Like we gotta get some guys that are passionate about football that love football. They want to come out every day and compete on the practice field in the weight room. We need competitors. We gotta bring that back here."

“We've got to bring that back here to Bank of America Stadium where people get excited about coming to see our team.

The Panthers enter the offseason looking for the team’s first playoff appearance since 2017.

Kenny is a Maryland native who began his career in media as a sportswriter at Tuskegee University, covering SIAC sports working for the athletic department and as a sports correspondent for the Tuskegee Campus Digest. Following his time at Tuskegee, he was accepted to the NASCAR Diversity Internship Program as a Marketing Intern for The NASCAR Foundation in Daytona Beach, Florida in 2017.