Former Georgia running back and up-and-coming coach Thomas Brown is gearing up for a new opportunity in the NFL. Reports have indicated that the 37-year-old will be joining the Chicago Bears staff as the team’s passing game coordinator. Brown previously served as the offensive coordinator for the Carolina Panthers but now looks forward to reuniting with new Bears offensive coordinator Shane Waldron, with whom he worked on the Los Angeles Rams staff in 2020.
During Brown’s lone season with the Panthers, the team faced numerous challenges. Rookie quarterback Bryce Young struggled with inconsistency, and the Panthers had a rough start to the season, resulting in the firing of head coach Frank Reich. The team finished the season with a 2-15 overall record, ranking last in passing yards, 31st in total touchdowns, and tied for 21st in yards per carry.
Despite the team’s struggles, Brown’s potential as a future head coach was still recognized throughout the league. He was a finalist for the Tennessee Titans’ head coaching vacancy this year and has interviewed for positions with the Houston Texans, Miami Dolphins, Pittsburgh Steelers, and New England Patriots in previous years.
Brown’s journey to becoming a prominent NFL assistant has been impressive. After playing running back at Georgia, he quickly transitioned into a coaching career. He returned to his alma mater as a strength coach in 2011 and later became the running backs coach. Brown then followed Mark Richt to Miami, where he spent three seasons on staff. He also had a one-year stint with Will Muschamp at South Carolina before entering the NFL.
During his time with the Rams, Brown experienced success, winning Super Bowl LVI as the assistant head coach/running backs coach. He then became the team’s tight ends coach in the following season. However, his move to the Panthers as offensive coordinator did not go as planned, with Brown and Reich trading play-calling duties throughout the season in an attempt to improve the team’s performance. Ultimately, the Panthers decided to make an in-season change, resulting in Reich’s short head coaching tenure.
Despite the challenges faced in Carolina, Brown’s potential continues to be recognized. In a recent NFLPA player poll, he was voted the second-best offensive coordinator in the league.
Now, Brown looks forward to his new role with the Chicago Bears and the opportunity to contribute to their passing game. With his background and experience, many are hopeful that Brown’s impact will be felt and that he will continue to rise in the coaching ranks.