LSU Tigers hire Jake Peetz, who worked under Joe Brady, as new offensive coordinator

ByMark Schlabach ESPN logo
Thursday, February 4, 2021

LSU is going back to the Joe Brady system to try to fix its ailing offense. The Tigers hired Carolina Panthers quarterbacks coach Jake Peetz as their new offensive coordinator Wednesday.

Peetz spent this past season working under Brady, Carolina's offensive coordinator, who helped guide LSU to a 2019 CFP national championship in his only season with the Tigers. With Brady and Steve Ensminger working as co-offensive coordinators in 2019, the Tigers went undefeated and finished as the top-rated offense in the FBS, averaging 568.5 yards and 48.4 points per game.

This past season, after Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Joe Burrow turned pro and Brady left for the NFL, the Tigers finished 35th in total offense (433.9 yards) and 39th in scoring (32 points). Ensminger was reassigned, and passing-game coordinator Scott Linehan was fired.

LSU head coach Ed Orgeron has targeted Cincinnatidefensive coordinatorMarcus Freeman as the top candidate to replace former defensive coordinator Bo Pelini, who was fired after only one season back at LSU.

The Tigers ranked 124th in the FBS in total defense (492 yards), 97th in scoring defense (34.9 points) and dead last in pass defense (323 yards) in 2020.

Freeman, a finalist for the Broyles Award for the top FBS assistant, guided a Bearcats unit that ranked in the top 15 in total defense (324.6 yards), scoring (16.8 points) and run defense (111.1 yards). Freeman is scheduled to interview at LSU this week, sources told ESPN.

LSU also is hiring Panthers coaching assistant DJ Mangas to replace Linehan. Mangas, 31, worked with Brady this past season and was an offensive analyst at LSU in 2019. Before that, he was the second-youngest offensive coordinator in Division I at William & Mary.

"Both Jake and DJ come highly recommended from one of the premier and innovative offensive coaches in the game in Joe Brady," Orgeron said in a statement. "Jake brings 10 years of NFL experience with him to our staff. He spent a season coaching alongside and learning from Joe [Brady] so we couldn't be more excited about Jake joining our staff. His knowledge of football combined with the players we have on our roster, will make for a dynamic offense for LSU in 2021."

Peetz, 37, coached Carolina's running backs in 2019, working with Christian McCaffrey, who became the third player in NFL history with 1,000 yards rushing and receiving in the same season. The former Nebraska defensive back also coached quarterbacks for the Las Vegas Raiders and Jacksonville Jaguars, and running backs with the Washington Football Team. He also was an analyst at Alabama in 2013 and 2018.