The Chicago Bears are interviewing Carolina Panthers offensive coordinator Thomas Brown. What is Brown's experience level, what would make him a good coordinator candidate, and what would be the biggest drawback to the Bears hiring him?
Chicago Bears interview Thomas Brown
Thomas Brown was a great college running back for the University of Georgia; however, it led to a short NFL career. After being drafted in 2009, he returned to Georgia to be a coach in 2011. After one year there, he bounced to Chatanooga and then Marshall before landing with Wisconsin at a big program as the running backs coach. There, he coached Melvin Gordon. In 2015, he was back at Georgia to be the running backs coach. He coached Sony Michel and Nick Chubb that season.
When Mark Richt left in 2016, he brought Brown with him to be his offensive coordinator and running backs coach at Miami. Miami had two good seasons, and he helped get some guys such as Mark Walton, DeeJay Dallas, Travis Homer, and Gus Edwards into the NFL.
In 2019, he was back as running backs coach with South Carolina, where he coached Rico Dowdle and Kevin Harris, two NFL backs.
In 2020, he moved up to the Los Angeles Rams to be their running backs coach. Liam Coen and Shane Waldron are two other people who are interviewing for this coordinator job.
In 2021, Brown moved up to assistant head coach, along with running backs coach, and the team won the Super Bowl. In 2022, his role shifted to tight ends coach along with assistant head coach.
Lastly, in 2023, he coached Bryce Young as the Carolina Panthers offensive coordinator. He only called plays for one game while Frank Reich was the head coach but called plays for the rest of the season after the team fired him.
Pros to Chicago Bears hiring Thomas Brown
Thomas Brown has had a lot of success and has been on the fast track to the NFL. His promotion to assistant head coach was valuable on the Rams Super Bowl run. The Chicago Bears need an assistant head coach to help Matt Eberflus, who is a better defensive coordinator than the head coach at this stage.
While Brown did not look great in Carolina, he also did not get much of a chance to succeed. When he was hired, it was looked at as a sharp, up-and-coming hire, and one year later, the Chicago Bears can be on this.
He has a combination of play-calling experience in college and the NFL, but he still has youth on his side. He comes from the McVay staff that everybody wants to steal from and would fit any quarterback the team chooses to go with.
Cons to Chicago Bears hiring Thomas Brown
All of the other coordinator candidates have extensive histories working with quarterbacks. Brown can bring a run game, and he has a list of impressive running backs he has worked with, but there are little signs of what he can bring to the passing game. His only real example is trying to work with Bryce Young.
If the Bears want to bring in a number one overall pick, do they really want the guy who just hurt the last number one overall pick? We will never know how much say Brown had in the decision of Young against Stroud, and of all of the coordinators they have hired, he has the least play-calling experience as well. This is the biggest upside, the biggest risk move.