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Joe Brady Fired to Save Matt Rhule's Job... For Now

By Stephen Douglas
Carolina Panthers v Miami Dolphins
Carolina Panthers v Miami Dolphins / Cliff Hawkins/GettyImages
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The Carolina Panthers fired offensive coordinator Joe Brady on Sunday during the team's bye week. While the Panthers have one of the worst offenses in the league this season, they're also starting Cam Newton who was unemployed last month. While Newton has provided us with some upworthy moments since returning, he's only back because things were so bad.

So it's probably unfair to blame one person for the Panthers disappointing season, but somebody has to go at some point because that's how this all works. Firing Joe Brady today probably saves Matt Rhule tomorrow. Though the fact that Brady was so highly touted so recently makes the move fairly shocking.

Brady was interviewing for head coaching vacancies just last offseason. A year before that he was passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach for one of the greatest offenses in college football history, which he then parlayed into the OC job in Carolina. It was a meteoric rise considering he was the linebacker coach at William & Mary in only 2014.

So what went wrong? Well, he may have picked a job where he was destined to fail in Carolina. Going from Joe Burrow during his Heisman season to Teddy Bridgewater, Sam Darnold and Cam Newton in the NFL isn't ideal, but he was also suddenly in a passing league for a coach who, well, doesn't want to pass. In 2019 Rhule explained just how much he loves running the ball, pointing to research that pointed out he wins when the team rushes for 150 yards in college.

This is just incredibly outdated thinking as we all know [choir sings] You run the ball to protect a lead which is why winning teams run the ball so much [choir sits down again].

What exactly was Brady supposed to do last week as the Panthers fell behind 21-7 late in the second quarter? Just keep pounding the rock? This is the NFL, not the Army - Air Force game. If Rhule hasn't figured this out by now then he's in trouble.

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