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Carolina Panthers part ways with offensive coordinator Joe Brady

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Carolina Panthers
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

In a surprise move made during their bye week, the Carolina Panthers have announced they’re parting ways with offensive coordinator Joe Brady, effective immediately. It’s a rapid decision made for a team who got out to a hot start to their season, before losing seven of their past nine games.

In 2020, coach Matt Rhule brought in the ascending Brady after an uber-successful year as LSU’s passing game coordinator, led by Joe Burrow, Justin Jefferson and Ja’Marr Chase. Brady previously spent two seasons as an offensive assistant on Sean Payton’s staff with the New Orleans Saints from 2017-18.

With the timing of this decision, Brady will assuredly be mentioned in college football head coach hiring circles, should he choose to immediately step into a new job. Otherwise he shouldn’t struggle to find another coaching opportunity within the NFL beginning in 2022.

It’s a quick fall from grace for the 32-year-old Brady, who had five NFL head coaching interviews in January of 2021.

Senior offensive assistant Jeff Nixon will take over for Brady as the Panthers’ offensive play-caller and coordinator for the remainder of the season. Nixon already has great familiarity with Rhule from their time together at Baylor, when Nixon was co-offensive coordinator and play-caller from 2017-19.

Still, with the changes coming mid-season, it’s unlikely for the Panthers to change much about their scheme with just five weeks left in the regular season. In the interim, the Panthers hope to at least improve upon their 5-7 record, whether it’s Cam Newton leading the charge or if P.J. Walker gets another chance. Sam Darnold is still recovering from the fractured scapula suffered in Week 9 and is likely out for the rest of the season.

The Panthers will play the Atlanta Falcons in Week 14 after their bye, but they will have a new play-caller calling the shots.