Dave Canales expects DC Ejiro Evero back in 2024

The Carolina Panthers presented a fresh and aligned vision on Thursday. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re starting completely anew behind the scenes.

President of football operations/general manager Dan Morgan and head coach Dave Canales hit the microphones for their official introductory press conference this morning. Canales, who has already gotten to work on reshaping the coaching staff in his own vision, was asked about current defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero.

“Oh my gosh, just the respect factor that I have goin’ against him—I know the scheme goin’ against it, I’m really excited to learn more about the ins and outs as far as how the calls come in, the adjustments and all that. I just know it was really difficult on me for years—whether it was in Seattle goin’ against the Rams and that family, or this year goin’ against EJ twice.

“And this is really important for me, especially as a first-time head coach. 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 EJ, just bein’ able to have the mentality that I saw that was really challenging to play against.”

Evero’s defense was a bit of a challenge for the rest of the league as well. Despite having to deal with a plethora of injuries to key players and a lack of complementary football from an especially bad offense, the Panthers allowed the fourth-fewest yards per game in 2023.

That work has certainly gotten some outside attention—as Evero has not only interviewed for multiple head-coaching opportunities this offseason, but has also drawn interest for other defensive coordinator jobs.

So Canales, of course, was asked if he expects to have Evero on his sideline for 2024.

“Yes,”he replied. “A huge piece of what we’re doin’.”

Canales has already brought a handful of offensive assistants onboard in assistant head coach/run game coordinator Harold Goodwin, running backs coach Bernie Parmalee, wide receivers coach Rob Moore and offensive line coach Joe Gilbert.

No changes or additions, however, have been made to the defensive staff.

Story originally appeared on Panthers Wire