Former Eagles QB Joins Buccaneers Staff, Coaching Up Tom Brady

Thad Lewis

Getty Former Eagles backup QB Thad Lewis will be coaching Tom Brady in Tampa Bay this season.

A short-lived backup quarterback in Philadelphia will be coaching up Tom Brady this season. Go figure.

Thad Lewis spent one season wearing midnight green (2015) before embarking on an ambitious coaching career in 2018. The undrafted free agent signal-caller played in the NFL from 2010-2017 and threw for 1,296 yards and five touchdowns. According to The Athletic’s Greg Auman, Lewis will be joining Bruce Arians’ staff in Tampa Bay as part of the Bill Walsh Coaching Fellowship where he’ll serve as a quarterbacks analyst. In addition to Brady, he’ll be teaching Buccaneers backups Blaine Gabbert, Ryan Griffin, and Reid Sinnett.

The 32-year-old was the darling of Chip Kelly’s eye back in 2015 and the Eagles signed him to a one-year deal. He was brought in Week 2 that year after a concussion sidelined starter Sam Bradford. Lewis had worked with then-Eagles offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur in Cleveland and took over as the No. 2 quarterback behind Mark Sanchez. He never saw any regular-season snaps for the Eagles.

Kelly later revealed that he wanted to sign Christian Ponder over Lewis in 2015 but the Raiders beat him to the punch on that move. Ironically, Ponder and Kelly would finally team up in San Francisco during the 2016 season after Lewis went down with a torn ACL in the preseason. He lasted just one more year in the NFL.

“Hopefully, I’ve done enough in my career that people know I can play,” Lewis said in 2015, via the Philadelphia Inquirer.

From there, he started a promising coaching career. Now Lewis will be whispering in Brady’s ear.

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Lewis Left Huge Impression on Chip Kelly

Lewis left a big impression on Kelly from their one year together in Philly. The former Eagles coach employed the Duke product as a backup quarterback when he moved on to San Francisco and hired him as an offensive analyst at his next stop at UCLA. Kelly waxed poetic about Lewis’ arm strength and quick release in 2015.

“I think when you looked at Thad, we worked him out a couple of times,” Kelly told NJ Advance Media at the time. “We were really impressed with his arm strength. He’s got a very, very strong arm. The ball comes off his hand extremely fast. He has a quick release. Throws a very tight spiral.”

He played in seven regular-season games during his eight-year NFL career, including making five starts for the Bills in 2013. Lewis also set a slew of records at Duke where he threw for a school-record 10,065 yards, 67 touchdowns, and 877 completions from 2006-2009.

Eagles Say Organization is ‘Quarterback Factory’

In April, Eagles GM Howie Roseman made the bold claim that the Eagles want to be known as a “quarterback factory.” The comment was scoffed at by many fans and media members, especially when considering their personnel over the years.

“For better or worse, we are quarterback developers,” Roseman told reporters. “We want to be a quarterback factory. We have the right people in place to do that. No team in the National Football League has benefitted more from developing quarterbacks than the Philadelphia Eagles.”

The results are a mixed bag, one filled with a good chunk of success (see: Nick Foles, Rodney Peete, A.J. Feeley, Jeff Garcia, Michael Vick) along with a great deal of failure (see: Matt Barkley, Kevin Kolb, Vince Young, Matt McGloin, Clayton Thorson).

Does anyone remember Jeff Kemp? How about Pat Ryan or Trent Edwards? There are plenty more examples from the franchise’s storied history, too. Maybe the organization needs to chill on the “quarterback factory” references.

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