LSU passing game coordinator Joe Brady will now return to the NFL, joining Matt Rhule’s staff with the Carolina Panthers and bringing excitement with him.
On Monday night, Joe Brady saw his LSU Tigers passing offense put forth yet another prolific and masterful performance behind likely No. 1 pick Joe Burrow as the passing game coordinator helped capture a National Championship. And on Tuesday afternoon, his time in Baton Rouge came to an end as he’s now heading to the Carolina Panthers.
As first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Brady will join the Panthers as the offensive coordinator for new head coach Matt Rhule. Schefter also reported that, when Rhule was hired by owner David Tepper, the new head coach made it clear that he wanted Brady as his OC. Tepper made it happen.
Despite being just 30 years old, Brady already has solid experience on his résumé as a coach. He coached linebackers at William & Mary (his alma mater), spent two years as a graduate assistant at Penn State, two years as an offensive assistant with the New Orleans Saints and led to his 2019 stint as LSU’s passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach.
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Though the improvement of Burrow is part of the equation, the Joe Brady effect was evident on the LSU offense. In 2018, Burrow completed just 57.8 percent of his throws for 2,894 yards, 16 touchdowns and five interceptions while the leading receiver had just 54 grabs for 875 yards.
Fast-forward to the 2019 season and it was like watching a whole new team. Not only did the Tigers offense propel them to winning the title but the numbers were record-breaking and awe-striking.
Burrow set FBS records galore as he threw for 5,671 yards while completing 76.3 percent of his throws with an unreal 60 touchdowns and only six interceptions. Furthermore, LSU had two receivers — Justin Jefferson and Ja’Marr Chase — with more than 1,500 yards receiving while three pass-catchers had at least 13 touchdown catches.
Brady might be young but his prowess as an offensive mind can’t be ignored after the effect he had on the LSU offense. The work he put in to both develop Burrow and his receivers while also continuously putting them in advantageous positions on the field was nothing short of pristine. Now the Panthers hope to see more of the same.
In Carolina, Brady obviously has some exquisitely talented young weapons at his disposal with Christian McCaffrey, D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel in the fold. Seeing the effect of the new offensive coordinator on those young pieces that have already flashed — to varying degrees — their potential should be a treat for fans.
The big question, of course, is who Brady will be working with at quarterback. With Cam Newton limited to just two games in the 2019 NFL season, there has been rampant speculation that Carolina will move on from him this offseason. But as Kyle Allen and Will Grier proved unready to take the onus of the starting job, that leaves the situation more muddled.
While that may be the case, if Newton can prove he’s 100 percent healthy after his foot surgery, the thought of Brady working with the dynamic quarterback is enticing. His ability to maximize Burrow’s strengths at LSU seems tailormade to help pull the MVP-type performance within Newton out from the cellars once again.
Whenever you hire a 30-year old wunderkind, there is always an inherent risk. However, with Joe Brady joining the Panthers, there should be excitement in Carolina. His body of work, though limited, may help spark an offensive revolution under Rhule as the Panthers come into a new era.