Skip to main content

Panthers retain Evero, announce Idzik and Smith, to fill out staff 


CHARLOTTE — New Panthers head coach Dave Canales has put three key pieces in place, setting his coordinators on next year's coaching staff.

In addition to retaining defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero, the Panthers have agreed to terms with Brad Idzik to be the offensive coordinator and Tracy Smith as special teams coordinator.

Idzik and Smith have a background with Canales from Tampa Bay and Seattle, while hanging onto Evero was one of the big draws for the new head coach.

The Buccaneers scored just 30 points in two games against the Panthers last year, and since Canales was the offensive coordinator there, he knows how difficult of a matchup it was.

"Oh my gosh, I mean, just the respect factor that I have going against them," Canales said of Evero and this defensive staff at his press conference last week. "I know this scheme going against it. I'm really excited to learn more about the ins and outs as far as how the calls come in, the adjustments, and all that. I just know it was really difficult on me for years, whether it was in Seattle going against the Rams in that family or this year just going against EJ twice.

"So, and this is really important for me, especially as a first-time head coach. I'm here to make sure we get our football right, especially on the offensive side, that we have that continuity with the players, with EJ, just being able to have the mentality that I saw that was really challenging to play against.

"I mean, this is, for me, what a huge piece of what we're doing."

The Panthers were fourth in the league in total defense last season while playing alongside an offense that ranked 32nd.

The other two coordinators have more background with their new boss.

Idzik worked with Canales last year with the Bucs as wide receivers coach.

Previously, the two were together in Seattle, where Idzik served as assistant wide receivers coach and offensive quality control/assistant quarterbacks coach. He has also coached at Stanford.

Idzik has background in the Carolinas, as he played wide receiver at Wake Forest (2011-14). His father is former Jets general manager and Bucs executive John Idzik.

Smith was the Seahawks assistant special teams coach last year, his third year back with the Seahawks after a three-year stint with the Texans.

The Seahawks have consistently been among the league's top special teams units, finishing in the top six in Rick Gosselin's annual rankings each of the last three years.

They were sixth last season after finishing second in 2022 and third in 2021.

Take a look at photos from Dan Morgan and Dave Canales' introductory press conference.

Related Content