Dave Canales Floated As Head Coaching Candidate

December 28th, 2023
Dave Canales

One and done?

When a team succeeds and a key member of its coaching staff has a nice body of work with successful starters — especially quarterbacks — it’s no shock to see said coach’s name floated as a head coaching candidate.

Last week, Conor Orr of SI.com typed that if he had to pick a dark horse to land an NFL gig this winter, it would be Bucs offensive coordinator Dave Canales. Another national media type agrees with Orr.

Of course, Canales was a long-time receivers coach for Seattle and the Seahawks always had good production from receivers. When Canales got bumped to quarterback coach, Canales’ pupil, Geno Smith, won “Comeback Player of the Year.”

In his first season as offensive coordinator with the Bucs, not only is Baker Mayfield a strong candidate for “Comeback Player of the Year,” but Canales may be coaching up an offense that could have two 1,000-yard receivers and a 1,000-yard runner.

Joe  never dreamed of typing that last sentence this year.

(Mike Evans has 1,163 yards receiving, Chris Godwin 892; and Rachaad White has 892 yards rushing.)

So in a recent NFL notebook column, Jeremy Fowler of BSPN floats Canales’ name as a possible target of teams seeking a head coach.

Canales spent 13 seasons with Pete Carroll and has some Carroll-like qualities when it comes to optimism and energy. His track record with quarterbacks is strong, helping bring out the best in Russell Wilson, Geno Smith and now Mayfield. While some candidates like this might be a year or two away, this field is wide open, and sometimes teams want to get ahead on a skilled offensive guy before they reach full potential.

Now Joe knows this will trigger some readers. Joe is keenly aware some fans do not value quarterbacks and in fact, they believe the greatest trait a quarterback can have is handing the ball off. So Canales’ value to these folks is next to nothing.

Joe can already hear the scoffing out loud from this crowd.

But when an assistant coach has a proven track record of working with quarterbacks, the game’s most important position and often a team’s most expensive investment, owners tend to lean toward them.

So yeah, Joe can see how teams may have more than a passing glance at Canales’ resume when Black Monday hits in 11 days.

31 Responses to “Dave Canales Floated As Head Coaching Candidate”

  1. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Any chance at all Canales is a minority?…….don’t think so, but it would be nice to get a couple of comp picks if he leaves for a HC position.

  2. BucThis Says:

    My prediction:
    Pittsburg lets Tomlin go. Canales is HC for the Steelers and Steelers also get Russell Wilson. Canales saves the careers for Geno, Mayfield, and then Russell Wilson. Pittsburg wins the SB in 26. 🤷‍♂️

  3. adam from ny Says:

    he’s going nowhere…he’s just beginning to settle into the OC position and sniff out some success…

    best bet is to bet on himself and learn and grow in his role for a year or so…


  4. Joe Says:

    Canales is HC for the Steelers and Steelers also get Russell Wilson. Canales saves the careers for Geno, Mayfield, and then Russell Wilson. Pittsburg wins the SB in 26.

    You forgot one MAJOR element and one not-so-major element which very well could be the very reason why the Steelers would hire Dave Canales.

    It’s pretty clear Kenny Pickett needs to be fixed. The Steelers have a significant investment in him. Who better to bring in than a guy who also saved Geno Smith and Baker Mayfield?

    And if you think the Steelers are giving up Pickett and because of Canales then the Steelers will sign Russell Wilson, then why not sign Baker Mayfield since the two have demonstrated they can work together? (Remember, Canales was a position coach with Wilson.)

  5. kaimaru Says:


    Canales is the only Hispanic OC, so yes, he is a minority

  6. BucThis Says:

    I see what you’re saying about Pickett but I think he’s too fragile and riding the bust mobile.

    I ruled out Mayfield for two reasons:
    1. I think he truly likes it here and doesn’t want to relocate again
    2. Mike Evans/Chris Godwin

    I honestly went with Wilson because of their connection and the trust they would have with one another. And I think Pittsburg would want to make a splash if they would part ways with Tomlin

  7. BucEmUp Says:

    And we would do what keep Bowles and find a new oc??? We better swap those guys out ill be pussed if we let him go

  8. Craig Says:

    The teams I see that will need a new coach are because their defenses are worse than the Bucs defense.

    Canales has no chops on defense. He will stick here as HC, though I don’t think the Bucs own a big enough bank truck to anchor Baker.

    His wife will happily get snow in her hair for a 3 year 100million bucks contract.

    Hot Toddie will receive a C- from the Glazers and stay, to be let go halfway through the season because his defense loses a few games. again.

    Canales will then coach Trask to an All-Pro season and get his HC job.

  9. SlyPirate Says:

    Not concerned. There 5 teams that need a new HC and are at least 15-20 better options than Canales.

    Let’s say you want a new HC with an OC pedigree. A guy that has a dynamic offensive mind with proven success …
    Ben Johnson OC Lions
    Ken Dorsey, OC Bills
    Kellen Moore, OC Chargers

    But say, you want a young, OC that transformed a mediocre QB into a star …
    Brian Johnson, OC Eagles
    Frank Smith, OC Dolphins

    Now let’s say, you want an OC that transformed a rookie QB into a star and has a Super Bowl …
    Eric Bieniemy, OC Commanders

    Whatever a team is looking for, there is a better candidate than Canales. He doesn’t have the track record or experience, yet.

  10. J Says:

    Just talked about this the other day when reviewing our players, coaches, and possible moves this off-season. It’s absolutely possible Canales could be gone, and it was in the statement above wherein our conversation kinda started about how these owners are looking to grab a hot commodity on their ascension, not when they’re just hitting their stride. 2 more wins with some decent stats fully puts Canales in the cross hairs.

  11. bulldog Says:

    Both Canales and Mayfield will be gone next $ea$on. After our one-and-barbecue playoff run, 2023 will be seen as a season for naught, a Bucsesque missed opportunity to develop Trask and Wolford.

  12. Bobby Says:

    So here we go, now next season we probably still have Bowles but without this season’s OC Canales. Bad deal for Bucs fans if you ask me.

  13. Let em bake Says:

    Run it back one more year

  14. Beeej Says:

    Canales has young kids in school here, I don’t believe he’s gonna keep uprooting them for personal gain

  15. Buccos Says:

    I don’t see Pittsburgh getting rid of Tomlin anytime soon. Although they did poach him from the Bucs and he has had a nice run for them. So if they did let him go why not poach another one from the Bucs. If they did that I would immediately hire Tomlin in return, like that show Wife Swap

  16. D-Rok Says:

    Bro, he is still in the midst of his very first season as OC. Let’s let the guy build a winning resume first, shall we?

  17. Ed Says:

    They were saying the same thing about Byron Leftwich a few years ago.

    He needs this offense to be more successful than it has been, so far.

    The team has to make the playoffs.

    The team has to go deeper in the playoffs.

    If those things happen, I’ll be the first person to say, yes he is a strong coaching candidate.

    To me, if I was looking for a head coach and was looking at an offensive coordinator, I’d want someone that has done it for a couple of years.

    Mike Tomlin is a great coach. Team is pretty thin in many positions. Just having them competing for a playoff spot in the same division as Baltimore is pretty good in my eyes.

  18. DoooshLaRue Says:

    I’m almost as scared as I was when I heard we might lose OC Sully about a decade ago………

  19. D-Rok Says:

    When Joe says,
    “Now Joe knows this will trigger some readers. Joe is keenly aware some fans do not value quarterbacks and in fact, they believe the greatest trait a quarterback can have is handing the ball off. ”

    D-Rok says,

    Brady. Tom. See. Or Manning, or Elway, or Marino, or Montana, or heck even Norm Van Brocklin (look up Brocklin – he was a stud in his era).

    No sir, fans like this wish/desire a QB to advance the forward pass. It’s what we crave.

  20. Bojim Says:

    Not this year. If he’s head coaching material then he’ll still be head coaching material next year. He needs another year at OC to prove himself. But that’s just my take.

  21. Tony marks Says:

    journalism hss been dead for a long time but its been even longer dead in sports media. When there was journalism people didn’t report their reports as news. The meme was cover the news not try and make it. Even commentary was on news – not other commentary of commentary of commentary.

    now it s all like twitter …… ahem i mean “X”.

    theres not a siiver of fact that Canales has been floated as a candidate for coach because in this context it would mean someone is actually considering or thinking of considering him for the job and the only place that consideration is real is in nfl teams front office. See any quotes from people who actually are in a place to consider hiring? nope – not even the mention of an unnamed source.

    what we really have here is imagination and conjecture of one media outlet being picked up as a story for another media outlet – kinda like a dog chasing its own tail

    meanwhile canales would have to be dumb as dirt to even consider a head caoching job now with only one year as an oc. why? anywhere he went his leash would be waay too short. in the NFL if for ANY reason someone with a short resume doesnt deliver rapidly the hounds come out FAST calling for the head.

    canales can wait a few years and still be in his 40s ( still young for a coach) and then make a move that wil give him time.

  22. Tye Says:

    Canales is the reason for the Bucs success…

    The Bucs BETTER dump Bowles before losing Canales or the Bucs will fall off the cliff come 2024 season!

  23. Dewey Selmon Says:

    Coaches now have to provide a DNA sample to determine if they are minority status so we can get comp picks. lol what a time to be alive.

  24. Tony marks Says:

    Tye Says:
    December 28th, 2023 at 7:05 pm
    Canales is the reason for the Bucs success…

    The Bucs BETTER dump Bowles before losing Canales or the Bucs will fall off the cliff come 2024 season!


    Sorry dude. Read the tea leave. If peopel are truning around on their ideas of canales and Baker then Bowles hate will be the next thing to go. Bowles picked both Baker and Canales. The head caoch gets merits or demerits based on his selections.

    We win out and definitely if we took out the Cowboys – Bowles is in the driver’s seat for at least another year or two

  25. Saskbucs Says:

    Bowles has been rightfully bashed all season by fans. Yes he deserves some props for keeping the team focused, but unless he has turned a philosophical corner he isn’t going to take this team back to the top. Canales may not be a good HC either and he may not even want to be one at this point, but he is clearly a good coach and a good OC. Was very happy with the hire, was not happy with some play calls this year but the season is long, just like Baker didn’t cost us any wins, I don’t believe Canales has either. He has been patient, learning, and who is to say that him sticking to the run earlier, when we were all pulling our hair out, isn’t making things work now. It’s still backwards in my opinion as far as running to open up the pass when this team needs to pass to open up the run but these last couple weeks both have been working much better than the first half of the season. The growth we were looking for, so far, has been delivered. Big fan of Dave and hope he is here a long time.

  26. Buckeyebuckchuck Says:

    Yeah, he’s not going anywhere next year. Neither is Baker unless he gets a ridiculous offer. They’re loving them some Todd Bowles and thanking him for a chance to shine. I sort of like the people Todd had surrounded himself with and the never give up attitude they bring. True Pirate right there, take no prisoners Mr Bowles

  27. Buckeyebuckchuck Says:

    People bashing Baker for not taking the Browns to the Big Bowl. Same with Todd with the Jets. Last time I checked Joe Willie Namath guaranteed a win and the Browns have never been. Lay off

  28. NE Fan Says:

    Let’s see if Blowzo lets him interview PO week. It would be ironic if he didn’t. Maybe Canales CAN multi-task?

  29. Glass Half Full Guy Says:

    This is a sign of how thin the coaching pool is in the NFL. A guy with ONE season as a coordinator is being considered for the top job somewhere. SMH

    Or it’s just more “jump on the latest hype bandwagon”. This is GMFB level of “journalism”. Next bad game the Bucs have it will be back to “He’s a terrible OC but he’s still learning”. If you watched GMFB the day after the Niners got whupped by the Ravens, you’d think they were calling for Purdy to be benched or traded.

    2 words: Crazy talk

  30. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    How quickly you all forget: Dirk KoetterKoetter

    Remember him? Remember the circumstances that led to him getting the HC gig?

    I sure do.

    Any decision made out of fear is a bad decision.

    Dave Canales is nowhere near ready to be a head coach. He needs at least 3-4 more years as an OC first. Minimum.

    He has barely started learning the job he has…no way can he handle all the duties of a head coach.

    But…we really needn’t worry about it. He won’t be offered a head coach job this year.

  31. German Buc Says:

    Sly, exactly that are the reasons Canales is qualified to be talked about as a ‘dark horse candidate’.