Reich hands over Panthers play calling duties to Thomas Brown
On Monday, Carolina Panthers head coach Frank Reich announced he would be turning over play calling duties to offensive coordinator Thomas Brown. Since Reich joined the organization he has maintained all regular season play calling duties with Brown being the primary architect of the playbook. Reich handled the in-game duties through the first six games that did not produce the volume of explosive plays that many fans and critics were expecting from an offense piloted by the No. 1 pick of the 2023 NFL draft – Bryce Young. The offense also failed to contribute to the complimentary football needed to produce wins. “It’s always been a part of the plan and something Thomas and I have discussed,” Reich said.
“He’s a great leader.”
There was never a timetable given for Brown to assume the in-game duties. Reich repeatedly stated that he would do it when he felt comfortable doing so but that it was not based on Brown’s ability to handle the job.
A former All-SEC selection in 2004, Brown garnered 172 carries for 875 yards and eight touchdowns as well as 16 receptions for 150 yards as a freshman. Brown would later become the Bulldog’s leading rusher.
Brown dove into his coaching aspirations as the strength and conditioning coach for his alma mater and would eventually work his way up to the professional coaching ranks as the Los Angeles Rams’ running backs coach in 2020. He would later be part of the Rams coaching staff that captured a win in Super Bowl LVI.
Now , the former running back for the Atlanta Falcons and the Cleveland Browns, will have the opportunity to fully command the Panthers in-game decisions on offense. Panthers starting quarterback Bryce Young also weighed in about the new arrangement. “He’s always been extremely integral to the day-to-day,” Young said.
“It’s a mix of him being passionate, caring and wanting to win and him having pride in that but him not having any ego.”
The energy about Brown’s change in duties has been well received in the Panthers locker room. Many of the players have expressed their confidence in Brown’s abilities including veteran receiver Adam Thielen. “I could tell early on that he’s a special coach,” Thielen said during a recent locker room interview.
"Sometimes coaches either have the intellect of X’s and O’s or they have the past player, kind of the mindset, and he’s got an unbelievable mix of the both.”
Brown will get his first chance to takeover play calling duties after the team’s bye week when the Panthers host CJ Stroud and the Houston Texans Oct. 29 at Bank of America stadium.