CFB: Joe Brady's Instant Impact at LSU, and Why Carolina Fans Should Be Excited
2018 LSU Pass Offense The 2018 LSU pass offense amassed a respectable 2970 yds (63rd), completing 59.7% (85th), with an overall team passer rating of 134.26. 2018 Explosive Passing Plays The Tigers produced explosive plays in their pass game of 15 yds or more on 68 of their 387 pass attempts in 2018 (60th). They hit explosive plays of 25 yds or longer 26 times (72nd). 2018 3rd Down Passing LSU converted 34 first downs on 98 pass attempts with a completion rate of 52%, and a team passer rating of 103.93. The Tigers ranked 79th in total third-down pass conversions in 2018. 2018 Red Zone Passing In the red zone, LSU ranked last nationally in QB rating (84.57). The Tigers only scored six pass TD's (108th). LSU was not a bad offense in 2018, but they needed to modernize and invigorate the offense in several areas, especially the red zone and on third down. Joe Brady The innovative coach of choice for coach Ed O would be the 29-year-old Joe Brady. Brady wouldn't have to travel far from New Orleans to Baton Rouge. Brady was an offensive assistant for the New Orleans Saints and worked under Sean Payton, who is known as one to the top offensive innovators in the NFL. Joe Brady's Prior Experience Brady started his career at William & Mary coaching Linebackers in 2013. He then moved on to Penn State as a Graduate Assistant in 2015. In 2017, he would take an offensive assistant post with the New Orleans Saints. In 2019, Brady became the LSU Pass Game Coordinator, and right after the Tigers National Championship win, Brady took the open Offensive Coordinator position offered to him by new Head Coach Matt Rhule with the Carolina Panthers. Brady Has risen through the ranks quickly and is now the youngest Offensive Coordinator in the NFL. The Joe Brady Coaching Style and Philosophy Like Sean Payton, Brady appears to have an ability to adapt to personnel. He said as much while speaking at his Panthers introductory press conference. Brady mentioned the importance of adapting to your personnel. What does this mean? It means that you have to be multiple in your scheme, and creative based on your personnel. Your Personnel changes often in the NFL, and Joe Brady's adaptation philosophy is one that can succeed in the NFL. The 2019 Record-Breaking LSU Tiger Offensive Ascension Not all credit goes to Brady, who split his duties with another Coordinator Steve Ensminger who was the LSU offensive coordinator in 2018. The Ensminger, Brady pairing allowed for a more seasoned coaching vet to gain insights and knowledge from a brilliant up and coming coach. Innovating the LSU pass offense was the sole intention of hiring Joe Brady hence his title (Pass Game Coordinator). The Effect of Joe Brady by The Numbers In 2019 The 2018 LSU offense as a whole averaged 402 yds per game and ranked 69th in the nation. In 2019, the LSU pass offense averaged 401.6 yds per game. Again, LSU averaged 401.6 yds PASSING in 2019 vs. their entire offensive per game average of 402 yds per game the year prior. This one stat by itself is enough evidence, but the deeper you look into the passing offense, you can gain insights into the how and why behind the rise of the 2019 LSU offense. 2019 LSU Pass Offense by The Numbers The Tigers Pass offense averaged 401.6 yds per game (2nd) and threw the football on 52% of their total plays averaging 10.62 yds per attempt (5th). The Tigers converted 1st downs on 43% of their total pass plays (3rd). They completed 75% of their passes and had an overall team passer rate of 197.4 (2nd). 2019 Explosive Passing Plays The Tigers pass offense hit on plays of 15 yards or longer 9.4 times per game (1st). On explosive plays 25 yards or longer, the Tigers hit on 60 of their 567 pass attempts (1st). 2019 3rd Down Passing LSU converted 43 first downs on third-down passing attempts (35th). Compare this to the 2018 rank of 79th, and it is a drastic difference based on ranking, but the Tigers only converted nine more 1st downs in the passing game in 2019. 2018 vs 2019 Red Zone Passing LSU's offense took a significant jump in red-zone production from 2018. In 2018 the Tigers had a total passer rate of 134.26, completion rate of 59.7%, and scored only six passing TD's. In 2019, the Tiger offense improved its passer rating to 261.9 (2nd), completion rate 71.3 (2nd), and TD's 34 (2nd). They also didn't turn it over through the air in the red area. First Down Passing The stat that sticks out the most when analyzing the 2019 LSU offense is their 1st down pass efficiency. Let's begin by comparing the change in total offensive run-pass ratio. In 2018 the Tigers threw the football on 40.7% of their total offensive plays. Compare this to the 52% to 48% pass to run ratio in 2019. On first down plays in 2018, the LSU's pass to run ratio 38% pass to 62% run. The 2019 addition on first down, 54% passing to 46% running the football. The aggressive change in philosophy helped open up the offense by keeping defenses on their heels with off-schedule play calls. The Tigers averaged 244 of their 402 yards passing per game on first down throws. LSU's passer rating on first down throws of 216.05 ranked 3rd in the nation. The Tigers attempted 293 first down throws, which also ranked 3rd in the land. The area that benefited the most were on plays of 15 yards or more. The Tigers hit 89 plays of 15 yards or longer 89 times on first down throws, 45 times they hit on plays of 25 yards or more.