Ryan Jensen Jan 23, 2022; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers center Ryan Jensen (66) warms up before the game against the Los Angeles Rams during a NFC Divisional playoff football game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports

News surfaced on Thursday that Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Dave Canales would be the next head coach of the Carolina Panthers. Having seen what the 42-year-old Canales accomplished with Geno Smith in Seattle and, more recently, reviving Baker Mayfield’s career, David Tepper made a somewhat surprising choice. After staying in-house for his general manager hire, Tepper has stayed in the NFC South to hire his next head coach.

Tampa center Ryan Jensen appeared on Awful Announcing’s Short and to the Point podcast with former teammate and current business partner in GILK (a luxury home building company which the two co-own) had a chance to weigh in on his offensive coordinator’s departure and subsequent promotion.

“Throughout the year, I was helping coach; I use ‘coach’ as a loose term because that life’s not for me, but I love Dave,” he told host Jessica Kleinschmidt. “Dave is a great man. It’s funny that you mention that because he’s actually renting out Garrett’s house here in Tampa, so Garrett is gonna have to figure out a new tenant here before too long.”

Jensen was asked about the characteristics that would make Canales a good head coach.

“I mean, his leadership,” said Jensen. “The first time I met Dave, I was a little unsure of him. You know, he was his first time being an offensive coordinator; he was just such a like happy go lucky guy. And I’m like, OK, let’s see how this is gonna work out.’ But, when it comes down to the root thing, he’s such a man of relation, like he wants to have relationships with all of his players and lead them through the tough times.

“I mean, you just look at us, Week 11, we’re 4-7, and that could’ve been a very big transition, and the whole thing could’ve imploded. But throughout that entire struggle where we lost five or six, Dave was the same person every day. He came to work; he got the guys ready to play, and he stayed the course. And I think that’s something you look for in a head coach. I think he’s gonna be very successful at it.”

That was some praise, but it wasn’t quite as effusive as what Gilkey had to say about him, and he had never played for Canales before. The guy was just renting his house.

“I personally believe that he’s going to be a wave of radical change in the NFL,” said Gilkey. “He and his wife, Lizzy, are amazing people; their whole posture towards community and relationships and vocation is something we haven’t seen since, like Tony Dungy. And so, I’m really, really, really excited to see the way in which his leadership not only proves to continue to be successful in the different teams that he’s with but honestly how it’s catalyst of change in our industry that needs it.”

Short and to the Point with Jessica Kleinschmidt is available on Apple PodcastsSpotify, and wherever you get your podcasts.

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.