The Buffalo Bills have added a home run to their coaching staff, hiring former Carolina Panthers head coach Joe Brady as quarterbacks coach.
Brady was fired by the Panthers during the 2021 season, his second in the NFL. Prior to that, he was seen as a rising star as the passing game coordinator for the LSU Tigers for one season. (That team went 15-0 and won the national championship with Heisman-winner and eventual number-one pick Joe Burrow.) Before that single season, he spent 2017 and 2018 with the New Orleans Saints as an offensive assistant. In 2015 and 2016, he was a graduate assistant with seventh-ranked Penn State. He began his coaching career at the cradle of American football coaching, William & Mary, where he was linebackers coach in 2013 and 2014 following his playing career.
In another sign of the effectiveness of this move, Brady has presumably worked alongside Jordan Palmer, Josh Allen’s private QB coach. Joe Burrow worked with Palmer before and during his monster 2019 season at LSU, when Brady was LSU passing game coordinator.
Carolina’s offense wasn’t very good in 2020 or 2021, with Teddy Bridgewater, P.J. Walker, and Sam Darnold splitting the starts at quarterback. (Brady was fired before Cam Newton took over in 2021.) Trouble with injured running back Christian McCaffrey hamstrung the planned offense in both seasons, as well.
Brady wasn’t initially on my radar because he has no coaching ties to head coach Sean McDermott and no ties to new offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey, or anyone else on the staff for that matter. I didn’t see a path to get a well-regarded offensive coordinator to take a QBs coach job.
Reading again through his bio this morning, I noticed Brady went to college at William & Mary and coached there after he was done playing. Another proud Tribe alum is Sean McDermott, who left in 1998. Brady arrived as a freshman in 2009, so they never overlapped, but the head coach at W&M was there from 1980 to 2018. Jimmye Laycock might be the piece that brought these two players from opposite sides of the field and different decades together. Both McDermott and Brady got their first coaching jobs at William & Mary.
Adding the 32-year-old Brady behind the 40-year-old Dorsey while also adding play-calling experience is a win all over the place. Support for QB Josh Allen, support for first-time offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey, and he’s another guy who can step in if Dorsey leaves, plus you get a perspective from outside the organization on ways to improve your techniques. It’s such a great hire.