The Panthers have fired offensive coordinator Joe Brady, the team announced. Senior offensive assistant Jeff Nixon, along with the rest of the offensive coaching staff, will take over Brady’s duties for the remainder of the season.
Brady spent two seasons as an offensive assistant for the Saints from 2017-18 and truly made a name for himself as the passing game coordinator for LSU in the Tigers’ record-setting 2019 season that featured otherworldly performances from future first-round draft picks like quarterback Joe Burrow, running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, and wide receivers Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson. That afforded him the opportunity to join Matt Rhule‘s first staff in Carolina in 2020.
The Panthers finished in the bottom half of the league last season in terms of total offense, though subpar QB play and a three-game season from star running back Christian McCaffrey certainly played a role in that. NFL clubs were still high on Brady’s ability, as he received five interviews for head coaching positions in this year’s cycle. As Albert Breer of SI.com tweets, Brady interviewed well, and a number of execs involved in those interviews believed he was a lock for an HC gig in 2022.
Unfortunately, Carolina suffered more of the same problems this year. McCaffrey is now out for the season after having played seven games, and an injury to starting quarterback Sam Darnold also helped to derail the Panthers’ once-promising season. A four-game losing streak earlier this year led some to believe that Brady would be stripped of his play-calling duties, and while that did not happen, Brady is now out of a job completely.
This year, the Panthers have slipped to 28th in total offense, and Brady’s creative mind has not been enough to consistently overcome what opposing defensive coordinators have thrown at him. He is still only 32 years old, but his meteoric rise has come to an abrupt halt, and he may have to rebuild his stock back at the college level.
Rhule said, “I met with Joe this morning and informed him that I have 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.”