Carolina Panthers' new offensive coordinator Joe Brady has not had the ideal offseason for a first-year OC in the NFL amid all of the chaos that has ensued amid the coronavirus pandemic. Luckily, his transition will be slightly smoother due to his past with the team's new starting quarterback, Teddy Bridgewater.
Brady and Bridgewater were both together in New Orleans during the 2018 NFL season in Bridgewater’s first year with the Saints. Brady was an offensive assistant for the team, who happened to work directly with Bridgewater quite regularly and the two formed an immediate connection.
“We clicked right away,” Bridgewater said in March regarding his immediate connection with Joe Brady. “He was a South Florida guy [too]… He spent a lot of one-on-one time with me after practice and throwing routes to the young receivers.”
Brady left the Saints to be the passing game coordinator at LSU in 2019 where he helped guide the Tigers to a National Championship, helping quarterback Joe Burrow on his path to the Heisman trophy along with being the first pick in April’s NFL Draft. Despite the year apart for the Bridgewater and Brady, the two still kept in contact, preserving their relationship.
“We had that relationship intact,” Bridgewater said. “When he went to LSU, I was shooting him text messages and watched some of LSU’s games and realized he was using some of the same concepts we were running. So that relationship never ended, and I’m glad that we get to reunite in Carolina.”
Brady elaborated on the two's relationship in a zoom call with Panthers media last week.
"I was an offensive assistant so it gave me an opportunity to get some extra time with Teddy and go through stuff with him and be able to teach as a coach so that was a huge development for me, but also getting an opportunity to know Teddy and understand how he thinks," Joe Brady explained. "I knew what we had in Teddy Bridgewater, I know the type of winning football he is going to play, so I'm excited for him to be able to finally do that again."
2020 will be a difficult transition year for any first-year starting quarterback or offensive coordinator. Learning the new terms, schemes, and verbiage under a new coach’s system is not an overnight process, especially in the NFL. Lucky for Bridgewater and Brady, the two will already have familiarity with one another. Bridgewater will have a good scope on Brady's system and Brady will know what kind of offense he should implement and how to tailor to Teddy's needs to get the most out of his new quarterback.
Brady had nothing but noble praise for Bridgewater when he spoke to the media last week, expounding upon Bridgewater's football IQ, leadership skills, and his ability to be a competent QB1 in an NFL offense.
"He makes everybody better," Brady said regarding Bridgewater. "He lights up the room, he's intelligent. His football IQ is through the roof. When we have a day like this, we're like 'Teddy, you're running the meetings.' I think that's critical having a guy that understands a good amount of the system and what we're doing, but also has an idea of football and being able to explain it and teach it to others.
"I think from a quarterback standpoint when you're able to install a play, communicate terminology, it shows how valuable you are. I had a great relationship with him in New Orleans and we're very fortunate to have him on the football team."
The quarterback position was one of the Panthers' Achilles heels in 2019. With Cam Newton missing the final 14 games with a foot injury, the team had to rely on backup Kyle Allen, who did not provide much of any boost to the offense.
Carolina made a bold decision this offseason to move on from former MVP Cam Newton, investing $63 million in Bridgewater, who has only started six games since the 2015 season. The lack of on-field reps was not a concern for anyone in the Panthers organization, as Teddy proved that he was still a starting-caliber quarterback, going 5-0 during Drew Brees' absence in 2019, keeping the team at the top of the NFC playoff picture.
Joe Brady and Teddy Bridgewater may not have your ideal inaugurate offseason but the two will have an array of weapons to utilize on Sundays in 2020. A skill group consisting of Christian McCaffrey, D.J. Moore, Robby Anderson, and Curtis Samuel is anything but concerning.
How confident are you in Joe Brady and Teddy Bridgewater? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below and discuss it with fellow Panther fans!
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