Report: Dave Canales gets second interview for Carolina Panthers head coach job

NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Philadelphia Eagles v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Philadelphia Eagles v Tampa Bay Buccaneers / Julio Aguilar/GettyImages

As the Tampa Bay Buccaneers prepare for another important offseason, the team might have to deal with an unexpected opening on the coaching staff.

Days after nearly getting the Bucs to the NFC Championship Game, first-year offensive coordinator Dave Canales is set to interview for the Carolina Panthers head coaching job -- again. It will mark the second time he's interviewed for the job, having gone through and survived the first round last week.

There are still more rounds to go, but it's starting to feel like there's a decent chance that Calanes ends up a legit finalist to be the Panthers next head coach.

It's objectively awesome to have Canales this deep into the process. While losing him would be a bummer for a number of different reasons, watching him elevate this quickly is a massive endorsement for the Buccaneers.

Unfortunately, it's also hugely problematic for the future.

What happens if Dave Canales leaves Buccaneers this offseason

Plenty of Bucs fans had their issues with Canales and his playcalling this year, but it's pretty undeniable what he was able to do working with Baker Mayfield. He turned another tossed aside quarterback into a guy who is set for a huge payday, having done it for Geno Smith a year ago, and his importance shouldn't be overlooked.

Losing Canales would also create a potentially negative situation for Baker. Part of the sales pitch of him being the Bucs quarterback of the future is how he's finally found stable footing. Constant coordinator and coaching changes have dominated his narrative, and to chase a career year by changing things up on him feels counterintuitive.

Say what you will about the growing pains of Canales as a play-caller, the consistency of having him back feels like a major key to success. And that's the thing, just like Baker got some wiggle room while he settled in, Canales is owed the same; he wasn't the same coordinator he was in the playoffs as he was during some of the low points of the season.

If Canales does leave, it begs the question of who the Bucs might hire to ensure growth continues next season. Todd Monken was a popular choice to potentially replace Todd Bowles if things went south, but the situation has changed and it's also unlikely that he'll make a parallell move back to Tampa.

Kellen Moore was a potential fit last year but chose to work with Justin Herbery in Los Angeles, a decision that has left him looking for a job again. Zac Robinson is getting interviews as an offensive coordinator and Eric Bieniemy could be a dark horse option if things fall apart for him in Washington.

Tampa Bay will be a much more attractive destination for offensive coordinators this year, but shuffling things up on Baker risks throwing a carefully constructed season of growth out of whack.

More Tampa Bay Buccaneers news and rumors