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Panthers fire offensive coordinator Joe Brady

You wanted changes? Well, you got a big one.

NFL: Carolina Panthers OTA
Joe Brady Standing Beside Discount Bill Parcells
Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Panthers have fired offensive coordinator Joe Brady, marking the first major domino to fall from the the poor offensive performance. In 2020, he oversaw one of the worst red zone offenses in the NFL, and in 2021 his unit started relatively well under Sam Darnold, until the turnover prone quarterback was benched and Cam Newton was brought in.

Fascinatingly, it would appear the Panthers are looking to fly under the radar with the news by announcing it during the 1 p.m. games during their bye week. Even more curious, the Panthers have chosen to fire the young coordinator—who most likely doesn’t have much personnel say—at a time when the offensive line the head coach and general manager have put together was doomed to cripple any offensive game plan.

Was playing Christensen (a week after he was highly rated playing left tackle) at left guard and Dennis Daley at left tackle—an obviously and unquestionably stupid decision—that of Brady? Or was it head coach Matt Rhule? We will never know, but here is what we do know: Jeff Nixon will take over and “coordinate with the rest of the offensive coaching staff.” This sounds like a very well-thought out and planned decision.

I’d like to give you some level of optimism about the season, but there is very little to be optimistic about. It’s hard to run a football team. There is a learning curve. And not everyone is good at it. These kind of knee-jerk reactions would be easy to blame on Rhule, but let’s not kid to ourselves. If hedge-fund billionaire David Tepper’s time as owner were a stock, we’d all be rushing to sell.