TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Dave Canales was on the job for less than a week when he had an impromptu meeting with one of his players.
The new Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator was in his office, door closed, privacy for a Zoom meeting. After a knock on the door, in comes offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs.
“Exactly as we want it,” Canales said, describing Wirfs taking up the entire doorway with his size, not to mention that infectious Wirfs smile.
“Infectious” might be the best word to describe Canales, his energy grabbing any room he enters. His opening introduction to the Tampa Bay media was a trot to the podium at the AdventHealth Training Center and a quick, “How is everybody?”
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Canales is taking the biggest leap in his coaching career while taking on a challenge that many Bucs fans do not envy.
For 13 seasons, he was an offensive assistant with the Seattle Seahawks, holding various roles from quarterbacks coach to passing game coordinator. No matter what his job title was, one thing remained a constant, Canales was connected to quarterback Russell Wilson and eventually a rekindled Geno Smith.
“No one has as many receptions from Russell Wilson as me,” boasted Canales, who was usually seen at practice, running around drills and formations while wearing wide receiver gloves, a nod to his position in college at Azusa Pacific.
Of course, Canales never did log an actual NFL reception but the repetitions on the practice field drove home fundamentals and a culture that was instilled in the entire Seahawks team by Head Coach Pete Carroll, who brought Canales to Seattle from their brief time together at USC in the mid-2000’s.
While Canales can joke about catches, one thing he will have to grow into as a play-caller is actually calling the plays. Canales has never called a play at the collegiate or professional level although his background as a high school coach gave him the confidence to make quick decisions under duress.
He admits that there will be mistakes but that he is a quick learner. For now, the Bucs’ offense is being designed with quarterback Kyle Trask in mind. Canales says he can only discuss and work with what he has.
Who knows what his offense will look like in a month after free agency and roster decisions?
Canales is ready for anything, full speed, asking you how you are doing in the process.