Carolina Panthers coach Frank Reich informed players Monday that he is handing over play-calling duties to offensive coordinator Thomas Brown, a league source confirmed. NFL Network first reported the news. Here’s what you need to know:
The Panthers (0-6) are the only team in the NFL without a win this season after their Week 6 loss to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.
No. 1 draft pick Bryce Young has completed 115 passes for 967 yards (63.2 completion percentage) with six touchdowns and four interceptions. He’s been sacked 16 times in his rookie season.
Brown, who served on the Los Angeles Rams staff from 2020 to 2022, joined the Panthers in February in the OC role.
Carolina has a bye in Week 7 before facing the Houston Texans in Week 8.
Why now?Reich said the decision was “100 percent” his own and that the plan had always been to hand off the play-calling duties to Brown. But it was just a week ago that Reich said David Tepper is an owner who doesn’t “sit idly by,” and it’s not a stretch to suggest — at a minimum — that Tepper influenced Reich’s decision. Reich said he thinks he would have still made the decision even if the Panthers weren’t 0-6, adding that doing this during the bye week will help Brown get ramped up and start working with Young. — Joseph Person, Panthers staff writer
Why Brown?Brown, the former Rams assistant, is a key piece of the well-regarded and well-compensated staff Reich assembled. At his introductory news conference, Reich said he would likely cede the play calling to Brown — at some point. Reich called the 37-year-old Brown “a stud,” and said he’s been impressed with him since their first meeting. Brown is another branch in the Sean McVay coaching tree and brought a strong run game background to Charlotte, specifically the Rams’ outside zone scheme. Brown has never called plays on a full-time basis, although he was the play caller during the second half of the Panthers’ three preseason games. — Person
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(Photo of Thomas Brown: Jared C. Tilton / Getty Images)
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