“Chargers Coaching Hire–How-Why”
Everybody comes from somewhere.
That’s how to view what the Chargers just did in hiring a new coach to replace Anthony Lynn, who replaced Mike McCoy.
It’s the Flavor of the Month choice for the Chargers in hiring a new head coach, again. Taking someone else’s hot coordinator.
Brandon Staley, coming from the Rams, is a hot candidate but so was Brian Daboll of the Bills.
Staley’s resume is short. 1-year as Defensive Coordinator of the Rams, but that was an impressive one year. He moved the chess pieces around the board, left by the fired Wade Phillips, and constructed a #1-ranked defense in a division with high powered offenses.
Staley spent just 3-other years, as a linebacker coach, with the Broncos and the Bears. His paths crossed with great talents like Von Miller in Denver and Khail Mack in Chicago. He helped design defenses that was dominant in sacks, takeaways and in the red-zone.
His work sheet with the Rams was indeed impressive. A defense that allowed 29-TDs in 16-games. Had 53-sacks, 22-takeaways and 102-QB pressures. Top ranked in yardage allowed defense and scoring defense. And this was in a division that featured the brilliance of 42TD-QB-Russell Wilson in Seattle…the do-everything skills of Arizona’s Kyler Murray (4800APY)…and Jim Garoppolo in San Francisco.
But this will be a different roster he inherits when he dons Chargers Powder Blue colors.
He won’t have super-star DT-Aaron Donald, the big brute that is Michael Brockers, the stud that was DB-Jalen Ramsey or blitz LB-Leonard Floyd, plus a host of guys who made plays off the bench.
The Chargers incoming head coach has the one dimension excellence of Joey Bosa, the developing Jerry Tillery, the brilliance of Derwin James, young LBs in Dru Tranquill and Kyzer White, and a veteran group of CBs-Casey Hayward-Chris Harris and Michael Davis.
But aside from Bosa and James, everyone else he inherits has not accomplished much or may have their better days behind them.
Staley comes with his own portfolio of positive traits.
Intellectual, or as another NFL exec told me “Rhodes Scholar Smart” in football. He comes with passion, worth ethic, enthusiasm. He comes as a “Teacher of Technique” that puts people in the right position to make plays.
I looked back at that Tampa-New Orleans playoff game, not so much Tom Brady-vs-Drew Brees, but what was happening on defense. You don’t limit Anthony Brown, Rob Gronkowski, Mike Evans to 1-catch each or shut out Michael Thomas completely, unless your defense is well coordinated upfront, has great linebacker play, or smothering cornerback coverage packages. That’s what we saw on Sunday.
That will be the challenge for Brandon Staley. Brought what he learned under Sean McVay with the Rams, and teach it, implement it, and make it work for the woeful Chargers.
I look at him and I see high octane energy, a-la Pete Carroll, McVay, Sean McDermott, crossed with the fire of Bill Cowher.
He does not have the same quality of players who wore the Rams horns, but he has athletes who can run, are hungry, are athletic. Now he just has to move them around the chess board to try and fix something that had become woeful.
He also inherits a defense that blew 13-16-16-17-and-21 point leads in the Anthony Lynn season of failure, and needs an overhaul of confidence.
Brian Daboll would have been a good hire to grow QB-Justin Herbert, but its evident the Chargers brass felt they had to fix the defense. Now they have to convince the new coach to keep the key assistants, components on the offensive side of the ball, Shane Steichen and Pep Hamilton to stay.
Tom Telesco and John Spanos are under the gun. Telesco told me a couple of weeks ago, the next hire had to be the right hire, because he probably wouldn’t get another chance to fix what is wrong with the Bolts.
The front office failed on the Anthony Lynn-Mike McCoy hires. It hasn’t been a fruitful 8-years has it?
Everyone comes from somewhere. Brandon Staley steps off the fast track to take over the Chargers.
His first chance at being a head coach. Last Chance Saloon for Telesco-Spanos.
A clean piece of paper for the Chargers and their fans.