After almost a dozen interviews and nearly a month of searching, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have found an offensive coordinator to add to Todd Bowles’ coaching staff.
Dave Canales was hired on Wednesday to succeed Byron Leftwich as the Bucs offensive coordinator and hopefully get a once powerful unit back on track. It’s not going to be an easy job, as some of the key pieces that made Tampa Bay’s offense great over the last few years are gone — the most notable departure being Tom Brady.
But Canales brings with him over a decade of experience working with one of the best head coaches in the NFL. For the last 12 years, Canales has been on Pete Carroll’s coaching staff with the Seattle Seahawks, and was with him during his USC days as well.
Now it’s Canales’ turn to prove he can be a top coach in the league. He’s earned his way into a coordinator role after years of honing his craft and the Buccaneers are hoping he’s the right guy to restore some offensive fire power and help get the ship back on course in Tampa Bay.
Dave Canales coaching history
Before he was a coach in the NFL, Canales cut his teeth at the high school level before landing a job in college. He joined Pete Carroll’s staff at UCS in 2009 as an assistant strength coach, impressing his boss so much that he brought him to Seattle.
Canales then spent the next decade working his way through and around the coaching staff, starting as the wide receivers coach before moving to quarterbacks coach over with a stint as the passing game coordinator in between.
Here’s a quick rundown of Canales’ ascension to Buccaneers offensive coordinator:
- Assistant strength coach – USC Trojans (2009)
- Wide receivers coach – Seattle Seahawks (2010-2017)
- Quarterbacks coach – Seattle Seahawks (2018-2019)
- Passing game coordinator – Seattle Seahawks (2020-2021)
- Quarterbacks coach – Seattle Seahawks (2022)
- Offensive coordinator – Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2023)
Canales worked his way to the top, which is exactly the kind of guy the Buccaneers need in a position like offensive coordinator. It also feels like the type of guy Todd Bowles would want to add to his staff, someone who earned their shot over the course of many years and will do all it takes to not blow his chance.
Sound like someone on the Bucs staff?
Beyond that, Canales also brings Super Bowl experience to the Tampa Bay locker room. He won a ring with the Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIII but also tasted defeat a year later in Super Bowl XLIX — notably as part of the offensive staff largely blamed for the loss.
Canales has experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows with the Seahawks, but has consistently had success throughout his career. He’ll bring that same Pete Carroll-style leadership to the Bucs and fuse it with the Bowles/Arians methods already in place.
What new Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator means for Kyle Trask?
As news of the hire settles in, the next logical question is what it means for who will be the next Buccaneers quarterback. More specifically, what does it mean for the only quarterback currently on the roster?
Kyle Trask was already a giant question mark heading into the offseason, and it was unclear whether or not he’d be the starter or if someone else would be brought in. Furthermore, it’s unclear if the Bucs want to make Trask their quarterback of the future and continue to develop him as such.
That’s a decision Canales will now be a big part of, and it might mean a little bit of both scenarios Trask has faced. Like all of the other Bucs coaches, Calanes isn’t coming to Tampa Bay for a short stint; unless he leaves for a head coaching gig, this move wasn’t made so that the team can tank. Canales isn’t a sacrificial hire, more are any of the coaches in the building looking to lose next season and risk their jobs.
It would be wise for the coaching staff to see what they have in Trask this season, but with some veteran backup in place. Things seem to be trending away from the Bucs bringing in someone like Jimmy Garoppolo and might end with the team deciding on Drew Lock as the veteran bridge to Trask.
Lock spent last season with Canales in Seattle and is a free agent this offseason. He could come in and become a valuable teacher for installing Canales’ offense and helping not only Trask learn it but the rest of the unit as well. Lock would also come cheap, as he’s a mid-to-low tier option on the market and wouldn’t cut too deep into the Bucs already complicated salary cap situation.