Could offensive coordinator Thomas Brown have the most to gain of any Carolina Panthers coach during the upcoming 2023 campaign?
Considering all the high-profile names that joined the Carolina Panthers coaching staff under Frank Reich this offseason, those with only casual interest in the league would have been somewhat surprised by the appointment of Thomas Brown. However, that is not a sentiment echoed by those who study the game or earn their money within it.
Brown has been rapidly rising up the coaching ranks after a standout college career with the Georgia Bulldogs en route to becoming a sixth-round selection. Things weren't as easy at the next level, but the former running back took to being a coach in college and the pros like a duck to water.
Hailing from the Sean McVay tree, Carolina's new offensive coordinator has been given plenty of responsibilities despite not having a previous working relationship with Reich. He's been an influential figure in crafting the playbook and throughout a hugely busy recruitment phase that was among the most memorable in franchise history.
Carolina Panthers might only have Thomas Brown for a short time
While Reich and Brown haven't always seen eye-to-eye, the pair have meshed traditional and progressive methods to mold a playbook they feel can take Carolina's offense to heights not seen since the mid-2010s. And as the recent arrival pointed out, the importance of creating mismatches is the biggest potential factor behind improvements in 2023 via Augusta Stone from the team's website.
"We kind of came to agreements as far as who we're going to be, how we're going to be built. From a philosophical standpoint, the physical nature is going to be very important to all of us when it comes to how we set the tone, being able to kind of build upon this great offensive line we had last year, but also trying to find ways to create matchups and find matchups."- Thomas Brown via Panthers.com
Carolina's all-star coaching staff bankrolled by owner David Tepper almost resembles a dream team of sorts. There are many past of future head coaches from top to bottom, which represents the biggest change in direction imaginable from the previous regime.
All the talk has been centered on Ejiro Evero getting a head coaching gig during the 2024 cycle if things go well with the Panthers. However, nobody could benefit more than Brown when push comes to shove.
Brown also got an interview or two this year, which means he's on the radar. If he gets a tune out of Bryce Young as a rookie and assumes play-calling duties from Reich at some stage, then his background might suggest he'll also be a one-year rental depending on the level of interest.
That's for the future. For now, Brown stated he is keen to spread the football around and isn't afraid to upset the applecart in favor of pushing the team's objectives into the forefront of his mind.
"I'm not in the business of controlling people's happiness; I'm not the happy police. But definitely guys are wanting to be more involved. You want to have guys on your roster that want the ball in their hands and want to make plays. It's a big part of what's motivated guys up until this point, but it also makes you harder to defend. Being able to spread the ball around, distribute to the entire field, and make the defense have to defend within the depth of the entire field. That's the overall goal."- Thomas Brown via Panthers.com
Brown couldn't have left a better impression on Reich and his players to date. His exceptional knowledge, willingness to push the boundaries, and approachability are traits that leave their mark - so this could be yet another outstanding hire from the Panthers when the full body of work in 2023 is evaluated.
And who knows, Brown might do enough to convince another organization to gamble on his enormous coaching upside.