NFL

Is Offensive Coordinator Joe Brady Related to Tom Brady?

It’s been an interesting year for football figures with the last name Brady. Joe Brady had a banner year as the passing coordinator for the LSU Tigers. Tom Brady showed frequent signs of frustration with a New England Patriots offense that frequently won but didn’t play as well as he hoped.

One of these Bradys saw his season culminate in the ultimate prize: a college football championship. The other saw his season end in shock with a first-round playoff loss to the Tennessee Titans. So, is offensive coordinator Joe related to NFL legend Tom? 

Joe Brady’s history in football

Passing coordinator Joe Brady of the LSU Tigers during a game in 2019
Former LSU passing coordinator Joe Brady | Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Joe has a strong football lineage; his father played for Clemson in the late ’70s. Joe played high school football in Florida. Then played in college at Air Force before transferring to the College of William & Mary. Joe stuck around William & Mary as a graduate assistant after his playing days.

His young coaching career took him to Penn State next, where Joe served under head coach James Franklin. The team he coached for at the time featured the incredibly productive running back Saquon Barkley.

In 2017, Joe got his first professional opportunity when Sean Payton brought him onto his staff with New Orleans as an assistant. In Joe’s first year, the Saints finished fifth in the NFL in both rushing and passing — the only team to finish in the top five in both categories. 

For someone who’s now only 30, Joe has experienced a whirlwind coaching career. But the biggest step in his professional life occurred last January, when he received a call from one of the best programs in the NCAA.

Joe Brady’s 2019 season with LSU

Prior to the 2019 season, LSU head coach Ed Orgeron hired Joe as passing game coordinator. Orgeron’s ability to delegate this responsibility proved to be a masterstroke. LSU’s offense thrived this season.

The Tigers finished 15-0 and dominated the Clemson Tigers in the national championship game. Quarterback Joe Burrow threw for 60 touchdowns, an NCAA single-season record. LSU threw for over 400 yards and four touchdowns a game while completing 75% of their passes. 

It takes an entire team to win a championship, including talent on both sides of the ball. But Joe’s influence cannot be overstated. LSU’s passing game was the main reason they were so successful. Burrow’s great season has enabled him to be the likely No. 1 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. 

Are Joe Brady and Tom Brady related? 

Joe and Tom are not related. But both men do have one thing in common: They’re offensive-minded. Joe revolutionized LSU’s passing game this season. Tom revolutionized passing at the pro level for years. His 2007 season — the year he led the Patriots to an undefeated regular season — is still one of the greatest by a quarterback ever.

What does the future hold for Joe? After LSU’s historic 2019-20 season, when they capped off an undefeated year with a national title victory, he’s moving to the NFL. Former Baylor coach Matt Rhule became the Carolina Panthers’ coach. Due to LSU’s offensive performance this year, Rhule opted to hire Joe as his offensive coordinator.

It’s a massive upgrade for Joe and will surely be a great challenge. But based on his ability to think creatively at the college level, he should be able to adapt to the pros quite well. 

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