Listen Live
NFL: AUG 11 Preseason - Steelers at Buccaneers

Source: Icon Sportswire / Getty

The Carolina Panthers are officially one day into the Dave Canales era and the opinions are all over the board on the decision. Some are excited about the thought of a guy who has been heavily involved in the rejuvenation of the careers of both Geno Smith and Baker Mayfield in the last two years coming in to work with Bryce Young, while others are more focused on the fact that he’s only been a coordinator for one year and the Tampa offense was far from one of the best in the league overall.

Earlier this morning, a man who became very familiar with Canales over the past year, Ira Kaufman of, stopped by with Mac & Bone Show and gave some incite on what Panthers fans should expect from him.

The first thing that Kaufman said Panther fans and media will notice about him is that he has a very positive mindset, similar to the man he learned under, Pete Carroll. “Positivity; that’s the word that’s next to Canales in the NFL dictionary. The glass is always half full. He’s always Mr. Brightside. Never saw a 3rd & 17 he didn’t think he could handle. You could use a little positivity with Mr. Tepper down there.”

Kaufman expects Canales’s philosophies to be almost identical to the ones that Carroll had in place for the majority of his time in Seattle, which was a strong running game and a stout defense. The Panthers certainly proved this season that they have the latter in place, especially if defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero was to stay in place. As for the running game, Chuba Hubbard showed some nice flashes throughout the season, but the team needs last offseason’s acquisition, Miles Sanders, to step up and be the type of receiving threat out of the backfield that Rachaad White was this year for Mayfield in Tampa.

While Canales did a lot of good things for the Buccaneers offense this past year, Kaufman pointed to a lack of creativity in the run game as a reason that fans were frustrated with him at times this season. “He kept trying to pound Rachaad White up the middle between the tackles. The problem was, they didn’t have the interior offensive line or the personnel to pull it off, so every time we looked around, it was 2nd & 8. Fans thought he ran too much on 1st and 2nd down and there wasn’t a lot of variety in his runs. He wouldn’t run outside, he wouldn’t do pitch plays. So there wasn’t a lot of imagination in his runs.”

The creativity may not have shown up in the run game, but it was there in the Buccaneers passing game and it was noticeable, especially for the players. “I got Mike Evans aside by myself one day and asked him about Canales in particular and I’ll never forget the quote from Evans. He said ‘Ira, this is my tenth year in the league, I’m running routes I’ve never run before’ and he was very excited about it and when the season ended he had thirteen touchdowns, tied for the league lead. So he’s very imaginative in the passing game.”

All in all, there seems to be a lot to like about the upside of Canales as the head man in Carolina. The question now is, can he surround himself with the right staff to help build what he wants and can the front office find players that fit what his system will likely be?