Longtime NFL assistant Dave Canales is finally getting that long-awaited promotion. According to NFL Media’s Mike Garafolo, Canales is being brought on to be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ offensive coordinator under head coach Todd Bowles.
Canales, 41, had been in the running for multiple openings. He now takes over for the recently fired Byron Leftwich in leading an offense that struggled big time last season. It’s also going to be a pretty big work in progress following the retirement of seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady.
With that said, Canales’ experience should be a boon for the Buccaneers. A former assistant coach with Carson High School and El Camino College in Southern California, Canales got his first big break when then-USC head coach Pete Carroll hired him as the Trojans’ assistant strength coach back in 2009.
He followed Carroll to the Pacific Northwest as the Seattle Seahawks’ wide receiver coach. Canales was then promoted to quarterbacks coach in 2018. He served in that position until becoming Seattle’s passing-game coordinator in 2021.
This past season saw Dave Canales oversee dramatic improvement from veteran journeyman Geno Smith en route to the quarterback winning the NFL Comeback Player of the Year award.
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There’s also a decent chance that Tampa Bay general manager Jason Licht looks to pry the aforementioned Smith away from Seattle. He’s set to hit free agency. And while a return to the Seahawks seems likely, this hiring could change the dynamics big time. It’ll definitely be an offseason storyline around the league.