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Carolina Panthers

Get to know new offensive coordinator Joe Brady

Joe Brady was passing game coordinator for LSU in 2019, guiding the Tigers to a national championship. He won the Broyles Award for college football's top assistant coach.
Joe Brady was passing game coordinator for LSU in 2019, guiding the Tigers to a national championship. He won the Broyles Award for college football's top assistant coach.

CHARLOTTE – Head coach Matt Rhule made the first addition to his Panthers coaching staff Wednesday when he announced the hiring of Joe Brady as the team's new offensive coordinator.

Brady just wrapped one of the most successful campaigns in college football history, helping lead LSU to an undefeated season and a national championship as the Tigers' passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach. As you can see in the photo above, he also took home some personal hardware, winning the Broyles Award as the nation's top assistant coach.

Now, like Rhule, it's time to see how Brady's success at the college level translates to the pros.

But before Brady gets a chance to prove himself in the NFL, it's important for Panthers fans to understand a little bit more about the man who will be calling plays next season. We've got you covered.

A historic season

Monday night marked the end of a magical season for Brady and the Tigers as LSU defeated Clemson 42-25 to take home the national title. The victory capped a historic run in the college football ranks where LSU's offense rewrote NCAA record books and scored the most points ever in a season (726).

Brady wasn't the main signal caller for the Tigers' offense as passing game coordinator, but he often took over in critical situations like third downs or in the red zone.

Sure, it helps the coaches look good when there's a Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback under center, but let's not forget Joe Burrow was the Tigers' starting quarterback last year, too. In 2018, Burrow put together an average season, with a 57.8 completion percentage (85th), 16 touchdown passes (62nd) and 2,894 passing yards (35th).

With the addition of Brady's offensive genius to LSU's staff in 2019, Burrow's numbers skyrocketed, and the quarterback finished first in nearly every statistical category, including completion percentage (76.3), passing touchdowns (60) and passing yards (5,671). It wasn't just Burrow having success, though. The Tigers led the NCAA in total offense, averaging a staggering 568.5 yards per game in 2019 after finishing 68th in the nation in 2018.

Yes, it's the college level. Yes, he was equipped with some of the game's best players. But still, there's a lot to be said about a coach who can produce such an incredible impact in such a short amount of time.

Roots in the NFC South

Prior to his one-year stint at LSU, Brady spent two seasons in the NFL working as an offensive assistant for the New Orleans Saints under head coach Sean Payton. As Brady put it, his position was really more of an "assistant to an assistant."

During those two years, the Saints won back-to-back NFC South titles and advanced to the Divisional Round of the playoffs twice thanks to one of the league's best offenses. Over the 32-game span, New Orleans' offense ranked sixth in the league in total yards and third in total points.

Regardless of what his official title was during his time in New Orleans, it's clear he was able to pick up a thing or two from Payton, one of the most revered offensive minds in the NFL. Whether he was calling plays or not, simply being around on offense as explosive as that is enough to teach a young coach a few tricks.

Now, Brady is coming back to the NFC South and will be tasked with going up against his former mentor twice a year. Come September it'll be time to see if the student can become the master.

"Modern and innovative processes"

When Panthers owner David Tepper was describing his ideal head coach, one of the qualities he said he was looking for was a coach who valued "modern and innovative processes." It seems Rhule, who said his vision aligned with Tepper's, wants those same values in his offensive coordinator.

Coming from the college level, Brady is used to having to constantly adapt schemes, which will allow him to bring plenty of new wrinkles to the Panthers offense. At just 30 years old, Brady will be the youngest coordinator in the league, and his youth has kept him from becoming stuck in his ways. Instead of sticking to his playbook and his playbook alone, Brady admitted in a December interview with The Advocate that he's not afraid to steal plays.

During his weekly preparation at LSU, Brady said he would spend each Wednesday reviewing every touchdown scored in the NFL the previous week – and it led to plenty of touchdowns at LSU.

Hopefully for Brady and the Panthers offense, he'll be able to find a few of those plays to steal from his days in New Orleans and Baton Rouge to help score some touchdowns in Charlotte.