LSU Football: Why losing Joe Brady isn’t a death sentence for LSU

LSU football's coaching staff celebrating (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
LSU football's coaching staff celebrating (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

LSU football is losing a valuable asset in assistant coach Joe Brady, who is heading to the NFL to join the Carolina Panthers’ coaching staff.

One of the biggest questions surrounding Joe Brady’s departure from the LSU football staff is how much of the Tigers’ success was he responsible for in 2019?

Brady is largely credited with helping Joe Burrow transform from a perceived middle-of-the-pack quarterback in the SEC into a transcendent quarterback that will be remembered as one of the greatest to ever play college football.

But was it all Brady? And should LSU fans be worried about the Tigers’ offense moving forward (especially with the loss of wide receiver Justin Jefferson, who declared for the NFL Draft on Wednesday)?

I’m not convinced LSU’s success in 2019 was all Brady. And I’m not sure LSU fans need to worry too much about the offense (at least not schematically) in 2020.

Let’s not act like the signs weren’t there in 2018 (prior to Brady’s arrival in Baton Rouge) that Burrow could be tremendously great.

According to Pro Football Focus, Burrow had a ridiculous 24 “big time throws” in 2018. He also had a 90.5 passing grade from a clean pocket in 2018 (which is elite).

So it’s not like Burrow’s success “came out of nowhere”. A lot of his success can be attributed to having more experience (plus more experienced offensive players around him, such as Jefferson and Ja’Marr Chase).

Now, obviously Brady brought some things with him that helped LSU’s offense evolve into more of a spread scheme.

But that’s where the game is going. And Ed Orgeron knew LSU’s offense needed to go that way. It’s not like Brady was redefining how football is played — he was simply the tool that Coach O and offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger helped use to take the Tigers’ offense to the next level.

What really made Brady special was his ability to connect with with players.

Sports Illustrated recently quoted a LSU assistant as saying Brady is “cool”, noting the fact that he wears Air Jordans and a “fancy gold chain”. Brady, who is 30, isn’t much older than the players he’s coaching. He knows how to talk football to 18-22 year olds and get his message across.

That’s the most important thing LSU will have to replace. The impact of Brady on the offense will remain. The way LSU’s offense works will continue to transform and progress. They just need to make sure they hire someone who knows how to connect with the players (continuity is important, which is why Jorge Munoz could be an option).

By the way, Ensminger and Brady shared play calling duties this year.

Losing Brady isn’t ideal, but it’s not a death sentence for LSU.