Former Bucs OL: Dave Canales will be ‘wave of radical change’ in NFL

Tampa Bay Buccaneers center Ryan Jensen never got the chance to take the field with Dave Canales as his offensive coordinator. Nonetheless, the former Pro Bowler realizes what a divisional rival is getting in the 42-year-old play-caller.

As first reported by NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport, the Carolina Panthers are expected to hire Canales as their next head coach. And Jensen, who appeared on Thursday’s episode of the Short and to the Point podcast, was asked which of Canales’ characteristics will help him thrive in his new position.

“I mean, his leadership,” he told host Jessica Kleinschmidt. “The first time I met Dave, I was a little unsure of him. First time bein’ an offensive coordinator. He was just such a like happy-go-lucky guy. And I’m like, ‘Okay, let’s see how this is gonna work out.’ But, when it comes down to the root thing, he’s such a man of relation. He wants to have relationships with all of his players and lead them through the tough times.

“I mean, you just look at us, like Week 11, we’re 4-7, and that could’ve been a very big transition, and the whole thing could’ve just imploded. But throughout that entire struggle, where we lost five of six, Dave was the same person every day. Came to work, got the guys ready to play, stayed the course. And I think that’s something you look for in a head coach. And I think he’s gonna be very successful at it.”

The 32-year-old was sidelined for the entirety of the 2023 campaign due to a knee injury. He would, however, have a front-row seat to Canales’ first year as a play-caller—where the Buccaneers captured their third straight NFC South title.

Jensen was joined by former teammate Garrett Gilkey, who also just so happens to be Canales’ landlord in Tampa. He too had some praise for his renter.

“I personally believe that he’s gonna be a wave of radical change in the NFL,” Gilkey said. “Him and his wife, Lizzy are amazing people. Their whole posture towards community and relationships and vocation is something we haven’t seen since, like Tony Dungy.

“And so, I’m really, really, really excited to see the way in which his leadership not only proves to continue to be successful in the different teams that he’s with, but honestly how it’s catalyst of change in our industry that needs it.”

Oh, and the Canales family does pay their rent on time.

Story originally appeared on Panthers Wire