Geno Smith just wrote Dave Canales back.
On Thursday night, the Carolina Panthers officially tabbed Canales as their new head coach—hiring the 42-year-old play-caller to conclude their second search in as many seasons. And today, Smith—who shared a sideline with his former quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator for four seasons in Seattle—hopped on a conference call with Charlotte reporters to talk about it.
“You’re getting a phenomenal coach who loves ball, who loves people, loves to coach, loves to teach,” Smith said, via Joe Person of The Athletic. “He’s patient. He’s understanding. And also he’s a guy who’s ever-evolving. He understands you’ve gotta continue to improve.”
Canales helped Smith improve, particularly into the 2022 campaign. That season saw Smith, who was named the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year, pass for career-highs in completion percentage (69.8), yards (4,282) and touchdowns (30).
The 33-year-old veteran believes Canales will also help Carolina’s Bryce Young find his way during his second NFL season.
“When it comes to his relationship with the quarterback, with Bryce, he’s a guy who has been around a lot of great quarterbacks,” Smith said, via Mike Kaye of The Charlotte Observer. “And he knows how to coach them. He’s coached some really good quarterbacks, and he has a system, he has a style, he knows exactly what he wants done and how he wants it done. And he’s going to get Bryce to do that through repetition, through practice, through meeting time and classroom and the film room.”
Young struggled in his rookie campaign, as he averaged just 179.8 passing yards per game with 11 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.