Panthers will interview Bucs’ Dave Canales, Mike Greenberg

TAMPA — When Dave Canales was asked earlier this year why he decided to leave the Seahawks after 13 seasons to become the Bucs’ offensive coordinator, he didn’t hesitate.

“Because you never turn down your first opportunity,” he said.

Canales will get his first opportunity to interview for an NFL head-coaching job after the Carolina Panthers asked the Bucs for permission to meet with the 42-year-old play-caller.

Hard to imagine the Panthers were impressed with Tampa Bay’s 9-0 win at Carolina Sunday, but the offense did enough to help the Bucs clinch the NFC South title for the third straight season.

Canales isn’t the only one the Panthers may want to steal from the Bucs. The team also plans to interview assistant general manager Mike Greenberg for their general manager position.

The Panthers are casting a wide net for both spots. They also plan to speak with Texans offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik and Ravens offensive coordinator Todd Monken.

Since firing general manager Scott Fitterer on Monday, there are reports the Panthers also would like to interview Saints assistant G.M./vice president of football operations Khai Harley and Eagles assistant G.M. Alec Halaby for that position.

Greenberg and John Spytek share the title of assistant general manager with the Bucs. Greenberg largely has been involved in managing the team’s difficult salary-cap situation.

The Bucs struggled from the outset on offense under Canales, who installed a zone-blocking scheme. But he has had success coaching quarterbacks such as Geno Smith and Baker Mayfield, who set career-high marks for passing yards (4,044) and touchdowns (28) this season while throwing only 10 interceptions.

It seems maybe a year or two premature for Canales to become a head coach, but in some ways he may be more prepared for that role.

While Canales served only as a quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator for Pete Carroll in Seattle, his positivity and ability to communicate may be even more valued as a head coach than in his role as a play-caller.

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