Panthers fire offensive coordinator Joe Brady with 5 games left in season

The Carolina Panthers didn't spend their bye week quietly.

As teams around the league got the early slate of games underway, the Panthers announced they have fired offensive coordinator Joe Brady. Head coach Matt Rhule made the call.

"I met with Joe this morning and informed him that I have decided to make a change," Rhule said, per a team statement. "I'm very grateful to him for his time and effort in helping us get established over this past year and a half."

Senior offensive assistant Jeff Nixon will take over as offensive coordinator for the remainder of the season.

Aug 27, 2021; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA;  Carolina Panthers offensive coordinator Joe Brady before the game at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Joe Brady's time with the Panthers is done. (Bob Donnan/Reuters) (USA TODAY USPW / reuters)

Short stint after headline-grabbing hire

Brady joined the Panthers in 2020 in a high-profile transition from LSU to the NFL after helping orchestrate the historic Tigers offense helmed by quarterback Joe Burrow that anchored the team's 2019 national championship run. At 30 years hold, Brady was the youngest coordinator in the NFL when he joined Carolina. Prior to working as LSU's passing-game coordinator, Brady worked for two seasons as an offensive assistant under Sean Payton for the New Orleans Saints.

With Teddy Bridgewater at quarterback and All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey injured for most of the season, the Panthers fielded an offense that ranked 21st in yardage and 24th in points per game as they finished 5-11 in his first season in Charlotte.

The Panthers have struggled to move the ball again in 2021 after trading for quarterback Sam Darnold in the offseason. Through 12 weeks, the Panthers rank 28th in the NFL with 308.7 yards and 23rd with 19.7 points per game in a 5-7 start. McCaffrey again has spent much of the season sidelined and was recently placed on season-ending injured reserve.

Midseason signing Cam Newton took over at quarterback in Week 10, a 27-21 loss to the Washington Football Team. The offense took another step back last week in a 33-10 loss to the Miami Dolphins that saw Newton complete 5-of-21 passes for 92 yards with two interceptions.