In one of the all-time news dumps in NFL history, the Carolina Panthers fired offensive coordinator Joe Brady Sunday. The announcement was made during the Sunday afternoon slate of football games during the Panthers' bye week.
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Brady, once a red-hot name after spending one year as co-offensive coordinator at LSU during the team's 2019 National Championship season, lasted just a season and a half in Carolina.
Rumors about a philosophical conflict between head coach Matt Rhule and Brady seems to be the reasoning for the shocking move.
Matt Rhule wanted the Panthers to rush 30-33 times a game. They had only 16 rushes in their last game before the bye. Now former OC Joe Brady just never found the right balance.
— David Newton (@DNewtonespn) December 5, 2021
|Year||Pass EPA/play rank||Run EPA/play Rank||EPA/play Rank|
|2021 (through week 12)||30||13||30|
The offense fell from 18th to 30th in EPA per play as the team traded high draft picks for the right to start Sam Darnold in an NFL game in 2021. Brady was burdened with mediocre starting quarterback play in 2020 with Teddy Bridgewater as his quarterback and then downright bad quarterback in 2021 with Darnold for most of the season.
Of course, his one year as co-offensive coordinator at LSU with Joe Burrow looks much better:
|Year||Pass EPA/play rank||Run EPA/play rank||EPA/play rank|
Brady should still be a sought-after coach at both the college and professional level with many potential suitors.
Here are potential landing spots:
Oklahoma Sooners offensive coordinator
Ex-Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables is the next Sooners head coach, which provides the perfect opportunity for Brady. Venables is a defensive-minded coach and will look for someone to call Oklahoma's offensive plays. He could slot right in with the talented but young Caleb Williams. The Sooners might be looking for some fresh ideas on offense, as the Lincoln Riley offense may have become stale in 2021.
USC Trojans offensive coordinator
Lincoln Riley did not bring an offensive coordinator with him to Los Angeles, but chances are he will still call plays like he did in Norman, which makes Brady a longshot here, especially with how different their offenses are structurally.
LSU Tigers offensive coordinator
This is an obvious connection given Brady’s successful year in Baton Rouge and new man Brian Kelly still needing an offensive coordinator. If Kelly is looking to win a title quickly before he retires, Brady is a great selection.
Miami Hurricanes offensive coordinator
The Hurricanes were already looking for a new offensive coordinator with Rhett Lashlee moving on to be SMU's head coach even before the rumors surrounding Oregon’s head coach Mario Cristobal replacing Manny Diaz in Miami arose. Cristobal just lost his offensive coordinator, Joe Moorhead to Akron, so even if Cristobal stays at Oregon, he could be looking at Brady there as well.
Cincinnati Bengals offensive coach
The Burrow connection is strong in theory, and the Bengals offense has been inconsistent in the two years Burrow has played under play-caller and head coach Zac Taylor. Falling upwards into a head coach role is unlikely and with the Bengals at 7-5, Taylor is still unlikely to be fired, but Brady could pop up as an assistant coach in the organization.
New York Giants offensive coordinator
Regardless of who the quarterback will be next year, the Giants will be looking for a new offensive coordinator after firing Jason Garrett midseason. Freddie Kitchens has taken over play-calling duties this season as he auditions for that role as well for 2022. If Brady wasn’t a philosophical fit for Matt Rhule, he may not be a fit for head coach Joe Judge, but stranger things have happened.
New Orleans Saints offensive coach
2022 might be a year where Brady recharges his batteries, and there is no better structure in place than in New Orleans, where Brady was an offensive assistant in 2017 and 2018.
Akron Zips offensive coordinator
A long shot, but Brady coached under Joe Moorhead at Penn State and could spend some time in the MAC due to his familiarity with Moorhead.