As if there wasn't already enough pressure on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to nail this upcoming offseason, Dave Canales added to the list on Thursday.
Canales bolted to accept the Carolina Panthers offer to become head coach, a move that stunned almost everybody. It wasn't that Canales came out of nowhere -- he had interviewed twice for the role, including last week ahead of the NFC Divisional Round -- rather it's that his ascension has been so rapid.
This time last year he was a position coach for the Seattle Seahawks, and less than a calendar year after becoming an offensive coordinator for the first time he's now a head coach. Many people believed he'd eventually get the call, but most thought it would come in a year or two.
Not the Bucs have a massive void to fill, one that could trigger other offseason moves one way or another. The future of Baker Mayfield and Mike Evans -- or at least their price tag -- seems tied to whoever Tampa Bay decides to hire and one potential candidate might already be eyeing another job.
Raiders requested permission from Buccaneers to interview Thad Lewis
One name already being tossed out as a legitimate in-house replacement for Canales is quarterbacks coach Thad Lewis. He worked closely with Baker this year and could marry the Bruce Arians offense with the one Canales installed this past season.
That is, of course, if he doesn't get a job somewhere else.
According to Buccaneers beat writer Rick Stroud, the Las Vegas Raiders are getting in on the action and are planning on interviewing Lewis if the Bucs will allow it. Doing so might also tip the Raiders hand in terms of what they plan to do in the upcoming NFL Draft.
"What is the connection to the Raiders? Lewis was an offensive analyst for two seasons at UCLA and involved in the recruitment of Heiman Trophy winner Jayden Daniels, who eventually chose Arizona State before later landing at LSU. But Daniels and Lewis have remained in touch," Stroud wrote.
Lewis would be interviewing for the Raiders vacant offensive coordinator role, which would put pressure on the Bucs to interview him for the same position. While he'd have the opportunity to work the Baker and potentially ascend like Canales, there is intrigue in developing Jayden Daniels in Vegas.
It all sounds eerily similar to the early rumblings about Canales that eventually turned into him taking the head coach job in Carolina.
Lewis was considered a long-shot candidate for the role last year after the Bucs fired Byron Leftwich. He didn't get the job, but he has been part of two successful offenses in Tampa Bay. He was an assistant coach during Tom Brady's near-MVP season under Bruce Arians' tutelage and worked closely with Baker in the offense Canales coached him to be a Comeback Player of the Year candidate.
He's put in his time, and it's clear there's interest in seeing what he can do if given a shot. Vegas clearly sees something in him, and it would be wise for the Bucs to at least interview him to see if he's the right guy to take the Bucs offense to the next level.