Mike Canales, QBs Coach
Although one of the most experienced hires the Vols made this offseason, Canales might be the biggest question mark on Tennessee’s staff.
Canales has been coaching at the collegiate level for three decades. But only five of those 30-plus years have been at Power-5 schools, and one was in the NFL. Canales coached quarterbacks for two years at North Carolina State and was the offensive coordinator/co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for Arizona for three years. That’s it for his Power-5 experience. The rest of his collegiate coaching experience has been at places like South Florida, North Texas, and Utah State. And aside from working with Phillip Rivers (and Rivers’ best years came when Canales wasn’t around), Canales doesn’t have many well known quarterbacks he’s helped coach on his resume.
While at South Florida, Canales formed a relationship with Tennessee’s new offensive coordinator Larry Scott. Canales was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks when Scott was a player then. That relationship and familiarity provides some sort of optimism for the hire, but otherwise there are several questions Canales has to answer.
Tennessee has two young quarterbacks who are vying for the starting job this offseason. They need a coach who can develop them and help them be the best they can be. Canales is an interesting choice to be that coach, to say the least.