What Joe Brady brought to LSU football that Scott Linehan won’t be able to replicate

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 head coach Ed Orgeron hired Scott Linehan this offseason to replace Joe Brady as the Tigers’ passing game coordinator.

The impact of Joe Brady on LSU football will be felt for a long time.

While serving as the Tigers’ passing game coordinator in 2019, Brady helped turn LSU’s offense into a juggernaut.

Brady, along with offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger, created an offense that led the nation in scoring and featured two wide receivers who each totaled over 1,500 receiving yards. And of course there’s quarterback Joe Burrow, who passed for over 5,600 yards and 60 touchdowns last season.

After one year in Baton Rouge, Brady left to become the Carolina Panthers’ new offensive coordinator. To replace Brady, Ed Orgeron hired former St Louis Rams head coach/Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Scott Linehan.

Brady’s influence on LSU’s playbook will remain. But losing the young assistant could be a bigger deal than some folks realize.

Sure, Linehan is smart guy. He’s been around a lot of offenses and had a lot of success. I don’t think his X’s and O’s knowledge is a problem.

Linehan simply can’t reach players the way Brady was able to reach them.

Former Tigers tight end Thaddeus Moss recently explained to The Athletic that Brady’s ability to connect with players is part of what made LSU’s 2019 season so special.

"Moss: “He’s really young, so we could all relate to him….Whenever we were sitting down for lunch or sitting down for dinner, the coaches would sit over there with the coaches and he would come sit with us, joke with us, laugh with us, talk to us. He’s very relatable.”"

Running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire echoed those sentiments, telling The Athletic “He got things across in a form or fashion that nowadays (is) how we talk to each other.”

Edwards-Helaire added “It’s how we communicate. Being able to have a guy around the same age or a little younger but different little slang to the way that he talks.”

It’s not that I think Linehan will be unable to relate to players. And it’s not that I think he’ll do a bad job.

There’s just no way to replicate the connection that Brady had with LSU’s offensive players. And that’s the biggest thing the Tigers will miss in 2020.

For the most part, everyone’s running the same plays these days. There aren’t a lot of secrets. Everything is on film. Portions of playbooks make their way from team to team with coaching changes and transfers.

It’s all about the way things are taught. The way players are coached.

Early 2020 game by game predictions for LSU. dark. Next

Perhaps Linehan will be able to connect with players in his own special way. But I doubt anyone is able to come close to what Brady was able to do in 2019.