If anyone needed proof that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have exceeded expectations, look no further than Dave Canales getting mentioned in early head coaching rumors.
A few months ago the Bucs were a total joke to most experts and were predicted to be a total tire fire. The New York Giants are basically what the Bucs were expected to be, but instead Tampa Bay heads into its bye week 3-1 and along atop the NFC South.
Not bad for a team that was supposed to tank.
Everything is going the Bucs way and the perception of the team has completely reversed course from where it was in the offseason. Baker Mayfield was trolled when he signed, but he's a conversation staple on shows Good Morning Football and was chosen as the celebrity guest picker for College GameDay at the Red River Rivalry.
Nothing epitomizes how high the Bucs stock is right now than Dave Canales getting mentioned as a potential head coach candidate this upcoming offseason.
Dave Canales is already getting mentioned in head coaching rumors
PFF put together a list of potential head coach candidates the Bears could look at if things continue to spiral, and Canales was mentioned as a name to watch.
"We’re very early into Canales’ tenure with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but another quarterback resurgence is underway with yet another offensive line that has injuries or question marks at every spot but left tackle. Canales took over an offense that ranked dead last in play-action rate in 2022 and currently leads the NFL in play-action rate through Week 4, scoring 26 points in Week 4 against a New Orleans Saints defense that hadn’t allowed a team to post more than 20 points in 11 consecutive outings."- Pro Football Focus
This is where we're at, folks. Canales getting head coaching consideration -- as minor as it is -- goes to show that Bucs are slowly starting to command respect throughout the league.
Things can still fall apart, but it's safe to say that nobody thought we'd be in this spot where Baker is a celebrity guest star on a pregame show and the team's first-year offensive coordinator who didn't even have photos in our image database is rising on head coaching candidate lists.
It absolutely rules.
Chicago got a clutch win on Thursday night, which buys Matt Eblerflus some time, but the Bears schedule doesn't get much easier moving forward. It's also hard to not get a smile imagining what Canales could do with Justin Fields after seeing what he did with Baker and Geno Smith.
It's highly unlikely that Canales will leave for a head coaching job this offseason, but his stock is certainly on the rise. It might be a matter of when not if Canales eventually becomes a head coach.