A few days after interviewing an older candidate in 62-year-old Marvin Lewis, the Jets went in the opposite direction Saturday, interviewing 31-year-old Joe Brady for their head coaching opening.
Brady spent last season as the Panthers offensive coordinator and now is getting a lot of attention as a potential head coach in what has been a meteoric rise through the coaching ranks.
Brady is the fourth known person to interview for the opening that was created last Sunday when the Jets fired coach Adam Gase. They have also interviewed Lewis, Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy and 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh.
The team also plans on interviewing Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith, Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus, Saints secondary coach Aaron Glenn and Rams defensive coordinator Brandon Staley. All of those coaches are involved in playoff games this weekend and cannot interview until after their first-round games are completed.
Brady joined Matt Rhule’s staff in Carolina last year after a one-year stint at LSU, where he helped oversee the best offense in college football led by Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow. The Tigers won the national championship, and Brady won the Broyles Award as the nation’s top assistant coach. LSU averaged an eye-popping 568.4 yards and 48.4 points per game, both the best marks in the nation.
After one year in Baton Rouge, Brady jumped to Carolina with Rhule. In their first year in Carolina, the Panthers went 5-11 and averaged 349.5 yards per game (21st in the NFL) and 21.9 points per game (24th).
Brady has a Sean McVay feel to him. The Rams struck gold by hiring McVay at the age of 30. McVay led the Rams to the Super Bowl in his second season and has made them a consistent winner. That has led to NFL teams attempting to copycat the Rams hire, and Brady feels like he is from the McVay mold.
The Jets are not the only team looking at Brady. He interviewed with the Texans, Falcons and Chargers this week.
Brady’s rapid rise through the coaching ranks is remarkable. He began his career at his alma mater William & Mary, where he coached linebackers in 2013-14. He then became a graduate assistant at Penn State in 2015-16. Brady joined Sean Payton’s staff with the Saints in 2017-18 as an offensive assistant before getting the job at LSU as passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach in 2019. William & Mary has been a good breeding ground for NFL coaches. Both Bills coach Sean McDermott and Steelers coach Mike Tomlin played there. Brady was a wide receiver for the Tribe.
Rhule plucked him from the college ranks last year when he got hired by the Panthers. He explained why he hired Brady to the team’s website.
“The reason why I wanted to hire Joe was at LSU, he ran a version of the Saints’ system,” Rhule said. “As a college coach, I studied NFL tape all the time. Obviously, with them being in the NFC South, I have so much respect for Sean Payton, their system, their ability to consistently execute and play at the highest of levels. And so you see Joe with his own take put on something that’s really strong fundamentally and sound fundamentally.”