LA Chargers column: Is Brandon Staley a good head coach hire?


The LA Chargers‘ coaching search is over. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported on Sunday night that the Chargers are hiring Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Brandon Staley to be the team’s next head coach.

Staley spearheaded the best defense in the league this season. The Rams hired him as the defensive coordinator prior to the 2020 season and after just one year of being a coordinator, he is now a head coach.

This came as a surprise to many Charger fans. Many (including myself) were expecting the Chargers to hire Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brain Daboll to be the next head coach. However, the Bolts seemingly liked Staley more, as there was no reported second interview with Daboll.

Some fans are left disappointed and others are left asking a rather straightforward question:

Is Brandon Staley a good hire by the LA Chargers?

As far as I am concerned, yes, I think so.

I understand anyone who was disappointed that the team did not hire Daboll and I am not the kind of person to spin it positively as soon as news hits and pretend like Daboll was not a good candidate. He absolutely was and his work with Josh Allen alone is what made him so inticing.

However, there must’ve been something that the LA Chargers did not like about Daboll. He was interviewed, he had connections with Tom Telesco and he had a very recent example of his work with a star young quarterback.

Some guys are meant to be coordinators. Others are meant to be head coaches and perhaps the Chargers saw something in Daboll that they didn’t like. This is not a report, just my own two cents.

As far as Staley is concerned — if you are worried about the offense… don’t be. The Chargers would not have made this hire if Staley did not have a vision for the offense and how to staff it. Dean Spanos and Tom Telesco know that Justin Herbert is the future of the franchise. They are not going to intentionally hire someone who hurts him.

Plus, Staley is not as inept offensively as some of these other defensive-minded head coaches. He played quarterback at the collegiate level and is coming from the Sean McVay coaching tree. The same Sean McVay who is a top-five offensive mind in the game today.

Staley probably has someone from McVay’s offensive coaching tree lined up. If they can make Jared Goff look good then they will make Justin Herbert look phenomenal.

Staley is young with very little NFL coaching experience but in my opinion, that should not be an issue anymore in 2020. McVay, Sean McDermott, Matt LaFleur, Brian Flores and Mike Vrabel all had little significant coaching experience and make up five of the eight-best coaches in the league.

I mean, just look at what Jalen Ramsey said about Staley:

"My confidence level that he'll be back is like 5%, maybe, just because of who he is. He's a genius. … If teams do make the mistake of not hiring him, we're gonna have a sequel, Part 2, and we're gonna turn it up a notch." –Rams CB Jalen Ramsey on DC Brandon Staley

— Greg Beacham (@gregbeacham) January 17, 2021

At the end of the day, the only thing to judge Staley on is results. I understand wanting the LA Chargers to hire Daboll, but let’s not give up on Staley just because he wasn’t who everyone on Twitter was talking about.

Next. 5 best free agency fits for Tyrod Taylor

It is an exciting new era for Chargers football and it’s probably about time that they hire a defensive-minded head coach, if we are being honest.

Corrections: A previous version of this article incorrectly referred to Staley as the defensive coordinator of the Los Angeles Lakers. I cover both the Lakers and the Chargers and sometimes my brain does not work properly. My apologies.