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Potential LA Chargers head coach profile: Joe Brady

OXFORD, MISSISSIPPI - NOVEMBER 16: Passing coordinator Joe Brady of the LSU Tigers reacts during a game against the Mississippi Rebels at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on November 16, 2019 in Oxford, Mississippi. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
OXFORD, MISSISSIPPI - NOVEMBER 16: Passing coordinator Joe Brady of the LSU Tigers reacts during a game against the Mississippi Rebels at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on November 16, 2019 in Oxford, Mississippi. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
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Panthers’ offensive coordinator Joe Brady will get an interview with the LA Chargers. Could he fit as the franchise’s next head coach?

OC Joe Brady will interview with the LA Chargers after completing interviews with the Falcons and Texans:

#Panthers OC Joe Brady, a bright up-and-coming offensive mind, received requests from the #Falcons, #Texans, and #Chargers to interview for their vacant head coach jobs, source said. A new name into the HC mix.

— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 5, 2021

Brady’s substantial rise throughout the football world might lead him to a head coaching job in his second NFL season. The Panthers’ 2020 offensive coordinator was LSU’s passing game coordinator/wide receivers coach in 2019.

His LSU tenure is what rocketed him into coaching in the NFL in the first place. Brady is viewed as the man behind Joe Burrow. Prior to his transfer at LSU, Burrow might’ve been a day three draft selection. Under Brady’s leadership of the offense, the Tigers had an undefeated championship season. It was clear that he wouldn’t be at LSU too much longer.

Burrow obviously worked incredibly hard to be the number one pick, but it’s hard not to look at what Brady did in developing the passing game. We’ve also seen what LSU’s offense looked like before his tenure and after. In 2018, LSU was 38th in total offense.

They rocketed up to the number one offense in college football averaging nearly 600 yards per game in 2019. After Brady and Burrow left, the Tigers dropped back to 35th in the country.

Brady’s combination of RPO opportunities and a West Coast scheme had NFL offenses salivating. It was hard not to be excited. Ja’Marr Chase, Justin Jefferson, and other weapons had the appropriate resources to gash the entire country. Burrow went from never touching the field in college to having the greatest college season of all time for a quarterback.

There was not much left for Brady to prove at the college. Sure, he wasn’t offensive coordinator at LSU, but it’s pretty clear that it was all his design even if he wasn’t the central play-caller. At the NFL level though, the league wanted to see how he would succeed as a play-caller. Brady was brought onto Matt Rhule’s staff as offensive coordinator of the Panthers.

How did Brady do in his first year as Panthers’ offensive coordinator? Pretty well if you ask me. Carolina underwent a total franchise facelift. Cam Newton, gone. Ron Rivera, gone. The only true constants in the Panthers’ offense from last season were Curtis Samuel, DJ Moore, and Christian McCaffrey.

Oh, and the Panthers basically didn’t have McCaffrey all year due to consistent injuries. Teddy Bridgewater also missed a few games while trying to play through injuries. Despite all of the overhaul and setbacks, Brady’s offense finished with more yards per game and more points per game than in 2019. Dealing with all he dealt with in his first season, that’s impressive.

More impressive than the actual offensive performance was how several key contributors stepped up. Brady had four players that totaled 1000 yards this season. Robby Anderson, Curtis Samuel, and DJ Moore stepped up big time at wideout while Mike Davis stepped in for McCaffrey.

A 2020 free-agent acquisition, two previously inconsistent wideouts, and a backup running back went for 4392 yards.

Now, replace the names Anderson, Samuel, Moore, and Davis with Allen, Henry, Williams, and Ekeler. It’s incredibly fun to think about what Brady could do for this offense and Justin Herbert.

The big question for Brady in this coaching carousel-experience. How can a franchise trust someone who’s only been coaching for a little over five years? How the Chargers feel about that will determine whether he is a serious candidate for head coach or not.

I used to think Brady was a year away from being a serious candidate. While he may not get a job this year, he is a serious candidate for head coach now. There is a good chance that one of Atlanta, Los Angeles, or Houston hires him. In addition to those, we could eventually see interest from Detroit, New York, and Jacksonville.

The next Sean McVay might be available for teams to have. Brady improved the LSU offense by multiple standard deviations. He got the best possible performance considering the situation for the Panthers.

Next. Coaching Profile: Brandon Staley

I’m not totally sold on how Brady would react as the main guy on a staff in high-pressure situations, but he answered the play-calling question firmly. We’ll see whether the Chargers are ready for Brady, but he has good reason to think he is ready for them.

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