CHARLOTTE – After being named the Panthers' new offensive coordinator Thursday, Joe Brady was officially introduced at Bank of America Stadium on Friday.
Brady played things fairly close to the vest in his first press conference, not revealing any major details about his vision for the offensive future of the Panthers. Part of that secrecy is because it's only January and there are still huge decisions to be made, but Brady pointed out that it's also due to the fact that this has been a whirlwind of a week for him.
After winning the national championship with LSU on Monday night, Brady found himself flying up to Charlotte to start a new chapter in his coaching career. Being just four days removed from game planning for the Tigers hasn't given him much of a chance to break down the Panthers quite yet.
However, Brady did provide some insight on what it was that convinced him to join Rhule's staff and what it's like adjusting to the NFL. Here are the highlights from Brady's press conference on Friday.
It's hard to walk away from a job at one of the best collegiate football programs in the nation, especially after winning a national title, but for Brady, it was always about making it to the NFL.
But why were the Panthers and Matt Rhule the right fit?
"You guys saw the first press conference," Brady said. "There's probably not a person in this room that didn't want to play for him at that moment."
Brady also cited Rhule's knack for transforming programs – bringing them from the brink of irrelevance into the spotlight, as he did at both Baylor and Temple.
"Everywhere he's been, he's made a difference," Brady said. "If I can help be a part of that, I want to. You can talk with him, you have a conversation with him and you want to run through a wall for him. I'm excited and I'm grateful for this opportunity."
Age isn't an excuse
At just 30 years old, Brady is now the youngest coordinator in the NFL, but he doesn't plan to use that as any sort of excuse.
"If there's one thing I've never done, I've never thought about my age or talked about my age," Brady said. "You'll never hear me talk about my age. I don't believe that your age determines how good of a coach you are."
Anyone who watched Brady's Tigers last year would understand that after their incredible season.
Even though some of the players he'll be tasked with coaching will be considerably older than him, Brady said he believes that after they witness his professionalism and approach firsthand, a mutual respect will quickly form.
"They're going to see my work ethic, they're going to see how I'm willing to do whatever I can to win," Brady said. "Regardless of my age, regardless of my experience, if they understand that, I feel like they're going to want to play for me and they're going to respect me and we're going to be able to have success."
An early start
Brady has become known for his innovative, high-scoring offense thanks to his time at LSU, but he got his start designing plays well before his time in Baton Rouge. Brady's roots as an offensive schemer date all the way back to his childhood when he'd doodle play ideas in notebooks in elementary school.
"I was five years old, eight years old," Brady said. "When you have some time in the classroom in elementary school, you're probably drawing up plays, and then it becomes real when you go to college and realize you're not a very good football player. You've got to realize that you're probably not going to play in the NFL, so let's try to make coaching your career."
From that point, Brady used whatever position he was in to help him better understand offensive schemes. Even as a defensive assistant at his alma mater, William & Mary, Brady would explore the concepts that gave his linebackers trouble to determine what would work when he eventually had an offense of his own to direct.
Creating a custom scheme
Instead of trying to fit the Panthers' offense into a predetermined scheme he established at LSU or during his days in New Orleans, Brady is coming to Carolina with the same approach that brought him success at his past stops.
"We found what our players did well, and we put them in position to have success," Brady said. "We weren't just running plays to run plays. We were looking to find out what our guys do well, and that takes time."
After just a handful of days on the job, Brady said he wasn't familiar enough with the team yet to identify what those strengths were, but that they would be identified over time during OTAs, minicamp and training camp.
"Our system is going to be what our players do best," Brady said. "I think that changes year to year, I think that changes based upon what you have."
That means adapting on the fly sometimes based on which players are available and on which plays, but to Brady, the most important thing is making the most of what you have.
"At the end of the day, it's all about a vision that you have for your players," Brady said. "Each person on your roster, on your offense, you should have a vision for an they all have to play a role. When you can find guys that fit the vision and understand their role, that's when I think you have success."
Brady's ever-changing approach to his offensive schemes goes hand in hand with how he described the NFL and football as a whole.
"The game evolves every year. As a play caller, as a coach, you have to evolve," Brady said. "There's no such thing as a bad idea right now, so let's work towards creating a system that we feel proud of."
Go behind the scenes with new Panthers offensive coordinator Joe Brady as he starts his first week with the team.