Bryce Young is a big reason why Dave Canales is where Dave Canales is today.
The new head coach of the Carolina Panthers spoke about his new quarterback during Thursday’s introductory press conference. And Canales, who comes over with a proven track record of coaching up success from under center, was asked how he can get Young where he needs to be.
“Attention to the details, first and foremost,” he replied. “It all starts off with relationship, Bryce and I just getting to know each other. I want him to know I have his best interests at heart. I want him to be the best possible version of himself. That’s the same approach that I’ve taken since I’ve been coaching positions in the NFL and that’s really the approach I wanna take with him.”
Canales, from 2018 to 2022, served as the quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator for the Seattle Seahawks. That run included a pair of career campaigns for Russell Wilson and Geno Smith, who led the league in completion percentage during Canales’ final year there.
He’d do the same in 2023, as the offensive coordinator of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Baker Mayfield finally appeared to fill the billing of a No. 1 overall pick, completing 64.3 percent of his passes for 4,044 yards and 28 touchdowns en route to an NFC South title.
Young, unfortunately, couldn’t say the same this past season. The 2023 No. 1 overall pick struggled mightily, passing for just 179.8 yards per game with 11 scores and 10 picks.
Nonetheless, the stats aren’t what have Canales excited about Young.
“In Seattle, like, we never we anywhere close to touching the first overall pick,” he later added. “And the more that I got ready for this interview and started watching Bryce, lookin’ at my notes from his eval—that’s just a year ago. We’re evaluating him as a player, as a person. And with all the information that we could, I just got more and more fired up about the opportunity to have this amazing talent. And he’s the guy. He’s the right guy that we all talk about when we have that quarterback—that face of the franchise type of player.”