Cam Newton’s opening touchdown pass had its roots in Joe Brady’s LSU playbook

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Joe Brady was a hot name as an offensive coordinator after his LSU playbook helped Joe Burrow throw an astonishing 60 touchdown passes for the Tigers in 2019. Matt Rhule hired Brady to be his OC as part of his inaugural staff with the Carolina Panthers in 2020, and he explained it thusly at the time:

“The reason why I wanted to hire Joe was (that) at LSU, he ran a version of the Saints’ system,” Rhule said in July, 2020. “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.”

That offense sputtered with Teddy Bridgewater at quarterback in 2020, and with Sam Darnold early in the 2021 season, but with the newly-acquired Cam Newton experiencing a Carolina homecoming, things appear to be better. Newton’s opening passing touchdown to D.J. Moore against Washington on Sunday had its roots in Brady’s LSU concepts.

First, the 10-yarder to Moore:

And then, the very same concept for Burrow against Alabama in 2019:

(H/T to the good folks at Syed Schemes for this)

The motion to from the backfield to quads, the draw-action, and the glance route for the score. That Newton has embraced Brady’s concepts so quickly augurs well for quarterback, coach, and team.