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Panthers HC Dave Canales gives rationale behind Austin Corbett’s move to center

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By: Anthony Rizzuti

Carolina Panthers offensive lineman Austin Corbett has yet to log a single regular-season rep from the center position. But that hasn’t been a deciding factor in his move to the very middle of the trench, at least for Dave Canales.

The first-year head coach chatted with reporters at the Annual League Meeting on Tuesday morning. Canales touched on the pricey free-agent signings additions of guards Damien Lewis and Robert Hunt, stating that he wants to build his team’s identity from the inside out.

Part of that establishing that identity will include a change for Corbett—who has played the vast majority of his NFL snaps from the right guard spot. But according to Canales, it’s Corbett’s identity that should make the transition a smooth one.

“Well, it’s a specific role for a guy who’s a leader,” Canales said, via Darin Gantt of “You can get away with it when a guy isn’t vocal; you can get away with it when a guy isn’t like the true alpha type of personality. You can get away with that, but you really would love your center to be like the middle linebacker and be the quarterback of the offensive line. And Corbs is that. He’s a man’s man; when he talks, people listen. He’s just natural for this, and for us to have the opportunity to go get the guards that we did to add Austin into that mix as a center to be able to piece it all together, the continuity of the tackles with a couple of new guys, a lot of guys just talking along the line. It’s really a dream scenario. And so I love this challenge.”

Corbett has recorded 3,984 snaps over his six-year career—with 3,442 of them coming at right guard. His only looks at center came during preseason play in 2019, when he lined up on 203 snaps from the middle for the Cleveland Browns.

On top of that challenge, the 28-year-old will be coming back from his second major injury in as many years. After returning from a torn ACL he sustained the 2022 finale, Corbett appeared in just four games this past season before injuring his MCL in the same knee.

Originally posted on Panthers Wire