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Panthers part ways with Joe Brady

Matt Rhule says Cam Newton will start after the Panthers’ bye week, but Mike Florio and Mike Golic analyze why his unfamiliarity with the playbook could be a red flag when paired with his inconsistency so far.

The bye literally has arrived for the Panthers.

On the lone week during the regular season featuring no Panthers game, the team has announced that it has parted ways with offensive coordinator Joe Brady.

“I met with Joe this morning and informed him that I have decided to make a change,” coach Matt Rhule said. “I’m very grateful to him for his time and effort in helping us get established over this past year and a half.”

Senior offensive assistant Jeff Nixon will replace Brady for the final five games of the season.

Brady arrived with much fanfare, hired as part of Rhule’s original staff. The Panthers have struggled offensively, however, with Brady’s offense not staying ahead of opposing defenses and/or its own tendencies and tells.

It’s also possible, if not likely, that Brady didn’t click with Cam Newton, whose return to the team has created excitement and ticket sales but two disappointing losses after an upset of the Cardinals. Last week, Newton performed poorly against the Dolphins.

Given that it took a full week for the change to happen suggests that there’s a lot more to the story. It also suggests that there’s a level of impatience in Charlotte -- likely emanating from owner David Tepper -- that could lead to other changes as he tries to turn his team into a consistent contender.

As one league source predicted on hearing the news, “Head coach next.”

Stay tuned. We’re only five weeks away from the end of the regular season.