The Carolina Panthers made a very surprising move during the team’s bye week by parting ways with offensive coordinator Joe Brady.
There have been reports of philosophical differences between head coach Matt Rhule and Brady for a while now.
The discord came to a head as the team prepares to return to work for a Week 14 game against the Falcons. Rarely does an in-season change fix a team’s problems, especially with five games left in the season.
— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) December 5, 2021
Rhule reportedly wanted more out of the run game. He saw the best offensive scheme consisting of 30-33 carries a week. This philosophy conflicted with Brady, who’s touted as a passing game savant and gung-ho on getting it going through air.
To Brady’s credit it wasn’t all his fault. The offense was rolling under Sam Darnold early in the season, before injuries to star running back Christian McCaffrey and Darnold stunted the team’s momentum.
The team had to turn to PJ Walker and Cam Newton, who can still tote it but can’t wing it any longer. This lack of talent and continuity, in addition to a reported internal struggle, led to Brady’s dismissal.
Rhule addressed the move via the team website:
“I met with Joe this morning and informed him I’ve decided to make a change. I’m very grateful to him for his time and effort in helping us get established over this past year and a half.”
Matt Rhule fires acclaimed offensive coordinator Joe Brady during season in which Panthers have started three different QBs and have placed Christian McCaffrey on IR. https://t.co/0nJIQZ5JKt
— Ed Werder (@WerderEdESPN) December 5, 2021
Brady Once Tabbed A Genius Struggled In Carolina
Brady was a bit of a disappointment for the Panthers. He came in as the young QB guru who molded 2020 No. 1 overall pick Joe Burrow while helping to lead the LSU Tigers to a CFP Championship.
That season, Brady’s offense was explosive all around but especially through the air, pilling 570.0 yards per game and 49.0 points per game. Brady was dubbed the mastermind behind the powerful Tigers offense and was highly coveted by several NFL teams.
A Swag You Have Never Seen
This Is Our Time. pic.twitter.com/NuPaWdVM16
— LSU Football (@LSUfootball) January 9, 2020
Brady was hired by Rhule to be the Panthers offensive coordinator, but he couldn’t bring Burrow and wide receivers Justin Jefferson and Ja’Marr Chase with him.
Instead, he’d now have Teddy Bridgewater, DJ Moore and Robby Anderson. Yes, all are solid NFL players, but not nearly as talented as the triple “JJJ” connection of Joe, Justin and Ja’Marr.
The Panthers struggled on offense most of the 2020 season, averaging 22.0 points per game under Brady. That ranked 24th in the league.
In the last two seasons, star running back Christain McCaffrey has played in 10 games, after starting the first 42 of his 48 career games and playing in all 48. He’s missed 18 of the last 28 games.
That number will soon balloon to 23 of the last 33 with him out of the last five games of this season. Brady never had a chance with the central figure of his offense sidelined most of the time.
These Offensive “GURUs” Are Anointed Too Quickly, Especially The Non-Melanated Ones
In 2019, it’s highly plausible that Brady and the LSU Tigers caught lightning in a bottle. Since their magical run, the program has struggled, leading to the exit of head coach Ed Orgeron.
It’s possible Brady was only as good as the tremendous talent he coached. Without that plethora of future NFL stars, he’s struggled.
Darnold was supposed to solve the QB situation, but he’s visibly shaken by the sight of being pressured or hit. P.J. Walker is best suited as a situational runner and Newton isn’t cutting it.
Although nothing has come out concerning Newton as the starter, one has to wonder if Brady was on board with it. Or would he rather have stuck with Walker once Darnold went down with injury.
Brady The Scapegoat: Franchise A Mess
Since December 2019, the Panthers have: pic.twitter.com/THKLVdBIdB
— John Ellis (@1PantherPlace) December 5, 2021
Since becoming the Panthers head coach, Matt Rhule is 10-18 overall and he doesn’t seem to be able to accept any blame for his situation. He threw it all on his 32-year-old OC.
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