Don't blame Brady for leaving after one season; 7 LSU juniors are leaving for NFL Draft
BATON ROUGE — He has a pretty, pretty good opener of a resume.
- LSU, 2019-20: Pass Game Coordinator for football team that won national championship at 15-0 with perhaps the greatest offense in NCAA history, led nation in passing yards and scoring, produced Heisman Trophy quarterback who led nation in passing yards, passing efficiency and points produced.
- References: LSU head coach Ed Orgeron, offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger, quarterback Joe Burrow, millions of LSU fans around the world.
- Salary Request: Millions of dollars a year.
- Age: 30.
- Any questions?: Call LSU football office at 225-578-1151.
And you'll have to leave a message.
C'mon folks, you knew if ever there was a coach who would turn around the pass offense laughingstock of major college football for most of the last 10 years, he would not be around for long.
What Brady did at and for LSU was akin to someone suddenly making people read newspapers again. ... She or he would immediately get scooped up by a national television network.
Do not be surprised, LSU fans. Do not be angry.
And in the future do not be so naive as to believe that any coach has decided what he will do next season until after the current season or very close to the end of that season — not in October. LSU athletic director Scott Woodward tried to keep Brady and promised a great raise and package to the tune of $1.5 million to $2 million last fall, but nothing was ever settled as so many believed and wrote.
Brady got a taste of the NFL with the New Orleans Saints for two seasons before he was hired at LSU about a year ago at this time. He wants to be an NFL head coach more than a college head coach, and the NFL tends to be the better career choice.
For one, he will not have to recruit, which many coaches would rather not do.
Brady has no ties to LSU or Louisiana, other than his two seasons with the Saints. He is from the Miami area and went to school and played wide receiver at William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, after one year at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He previously coached at William & Mary and was a graduate assistant at Penn State.
It was hoped that he would stay at LSU for at least one more season. It has been an unwritten rule in coaching that assistants stay at least two seasons under the head coach who hired them. At least that's what Nick Saban used to say.
And one would think Brady owed Orgeron more than a typical hire because Orgeron really took a chance on Brady, who was a lower level offensive assistant and practically a graduate assistant with the Saints. And Orgeron literally handed him his offense along with a promising quarterback, who was nothing close in 2018 to what he was in 2019. But he was getting there late last season, particularly in his last two games. Brady also got a trio of wide receivers along with with an excellent tight end and tailback and veteran offensive line.
Ja'Marr Chase and Terrace Marshall would have developed at wide receiver as sophomores in 2019 with Burrow along with a finally healthy senior tight end in Thaddeus Moss and junior tailback Clyde Edwards-Helaire even without Brady. Not nearly as much, but they would have all been very good.
A perfect storm of offense awaited Brady, and he was put in the eye of it. Many new pass game coordinators would have done very well.
But Brady made LSU a Category 5 offense.
Yes, he owed Orgeron. But by midway through the season, it was obvious he had already paid him back for the career break.
So, you can't blame him for leaving.
From a business standpoint, Brady also knows — and knew early this season — he had a generational quarterback in Burrow. And he may never have a better one in college or pro ball.
He had to strike while the Burrow was boiling.
So, good luck to Mighty Young Joe Brady, who created the ultimate offensive gorilla. And may the Saints' defense, which kept up its end of the bargain all season and against Minnesota in the playoffs. welcome him to the NFL, if you know what I mean.
First Burrow, now Brady is gone. Jefferson should leave, too, as a junior. He will be a late first-round pick.
At least Chase and Marshall will return. Maybe, junior center Lloyd Cushenberry will stay, too. But it would probably be best for him to enter the draft.
There will obviously be a huge drop-off for LSU's offense in 2020 in talent and brains. But offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger called a lot of passes in 2019 as well. He is more than qualified to run the same offense without Brady. Projected starting quarterback Myles Brennan, who will be a junior, will not be close to Burrow, but he can win with Chase and Marshall and some new targets.
The base remains. The film remains. The playbook remains.
Jorge Munoz, a former Ragin' Cajuns offensive coordinator who has been a Tigers' offensive analyst the last two years in basically the same role Brady had with the Saints, is expected to replace Brady as receivers coach. He is well thought of by Orgeron and can help Ensminger.
Yes, Ensminger is 61, but he coached like he was 41 this past season. He can still do it. And Orgeron needs him again.
Or maybe Orgeron could hire Saints' offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael, who has been in that job under head coach and true offensive coordinator Sean Payton since 2006. He might need a change to forward his career.
And look what LSU did for Brady's career. No NFL team is going after Carmichael or has gone after Carmichael in 13 years the way Carolina new head coach Matt Rhule pursued Brady.
Yes, LSU's offense will have the dreaded rebuilding year in 2020, but after the magic of 2019, there is nothing to complain about.
The best time to rebuild is after you've just reached the moon and the stars.
7 LSU juniors to enter 2020 NFL Draft
Speaking of departures, five juniors on LSU football team announced through various social media platforms on Wednesday that they are leaving school a year early to enter the next NFL Draft in April.
Most were expected, such as tailback Clyde Edwards-Helaire, wide receiver Justin Jefferson, center Lloyd Cushenberry, safety Grant Delpit, and linebackers Jacob Phillips and Patrick Queen, particularly after his MVP performance in the national championship win.
The seventh was a mild surprise as left tackle Saahdiq Charles also declared a year early.