Dave Canales, quarterbacks coach, Seattle Seahawks
Dave Canales, 41, has been an NFL coach for 12 years with the Seattle Seahawks, most recently acting as their quarterbacks coach in 2022. He also served as wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator.
He has been credited for the success of journeyman quarterback Geno Smith, who had his career-best year with Canales as coach. Smith was able to set three franchise records for the Seahawks with the most passing yards (4,282), completion percentage (69.9%), and completions (399).
He was also the passing game coordinator in Seattle when Wilson had some of his best seasons and so far, Canales is the only candidate to get a second interview with the Ravens. His work with two Pro-Bowl quarterbacks, especially the turnaround for Smith, is evidence that he can have a positive effect on Jackson or whoever is the Ravens quarterback next season.
The Ravens have made every decision over the last four years with an eye on optimizing their team for Jackson’s skills. Harbaugh elevated Roman in the first place because he believed no one would be better suited to build a “revolutionary” attack around the greatest running quarterback ever to hit the NFL. Every personnel decision, every schematic tweak that followed was designed to accentuate this quest. It was a smashing success in Year 1; returns diminished from there.
It’s no longer exotic to fashion an NFL offense around a quarterback’s mobility. With the Philadelphia Eagles and Jalen Hurts bound for the Super Bowl, we’re watching it work on the highest possible level. Even in that context, however, the Ravens have gone to extremes in relying on Jackson’s running ability as their ace in the hole. Will a new coordinator seek more balance? That might be Jackson’s preference; he has emphasized again and again that he thrived in a pro-style offense with coach Bobby Petrino at Louisville. And if he’s not the man at the helm, the offense will need to function without a once-in-a-generation runner taking snaps.
It’s difficult to envision the Ravens returning to the straight drop-back days of Joe Flacco given all they’ve built around Jackson. But with so much uncertainty around their most important player, it’s equally difficult to guess exactly how the path ahead might look.
Ravens Biggest Need: Lamar Jackson Speed Weapons at WR - Todd Karpovich
One of the Baltimore Ravens’ biggest priorities this offseason should be adding a wide receiver that can routinely get behind a secondary and consistently create matchup problems for opponents.
Speed - that was an area where the team struggled last year.
The Lamar Jackson-led Ravens tended to lean too heavily on tight end Mark Andrews, who dealt with double teams over the second half of the season.
Baltimore general manager Eric DeCosta is going to look at every avenue — free agency, trade market, and the draft — to boost the production of the wide receivers in 2023.
The Ravens can’t afford to botch this opportunity.
2023 NFL Draft Big Board - Danny Kelly
26. QUENTIN JOHNSTON
WIDE RECEIVER TCU
HEIGHT 6’4” WEIGHT 215 YEAR JUNIOR AGE 21.6
Johnston is a twitchy athlete with outstanding length and a penchant for the big play.
Johnston is a loose and flexible athlete with very good body control and a big catch radius. He’s quick off the line and brings long-striding build-up speed to overtake corners who are trying to keep him in front. He averaged 19 yards per catch in his career in part because he can separate late in his route, using subtle push-offs and late hands to come down with deep throws. With good stop-start burst, he’s dangerous with the ball in his hands: He averaged 8.9 yards after the catch per reception in 2022, per PFF (11th among qualifying receivers), and he forced 19 missed tackles. His hoops background shows up in his knack for thinking one step ahead of defenders; he routinely drop steps away from pursuit when catching passes with his back to the opponent, leaving defensive backs flying right by him. He can leap over defenders to reel in a pass, and his size enables him to draw a lot of defensive pass interference penalties.
Johnston has inconsistent hands and lets too many passes go off his chest. He tends to be a body catcher and didn’t win at the catch point as much as you’d hope for a player of his size, and he hauled in just eight of his 23 contested catch targets last season, per PFF. His focus can drift, and sometimes he looks to start running before he catches the ball. And he’s a bit loose with ball security, carrying the ball out and away from his body. He needs to develop a more refined route tree and rely less on his run-after-the-catch ability to create big plays.
2023 Senior Bowl Practice Recap: Day 2 - Trevor Sikkema
It was the second day in a row that Dell’s athleticism stood out. He measured in at 5-foot-8 and 163 pounds, so you figure if defensive backs can get their hands on him, he won’t be able to handle the physicality. The problem is no defensive back has really been able to get their hands on him in that way, and he’s made them pay in both one-on-ones and the full-team scrimmages. With as much dynamic ability as he has, he feels like a player who is a Day 2 lock, and one whose stock is trending more and more toward being a second-round pick.
We talked about Stanford’s Michael Wilson a lot in the Day 1 recap, but we had to give him another shoutout on Day 2 for likely bringing us the play of the day. Wilson was once again able to show such a great understanding of how to win at the position with successful separation in his release, the nuances of running a route in a way that gives you an advantage, and then the athletic ability to cut and gain speed. He was another winner on Day 2.