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LA Chargers: Why Brandon Staley was such a shocking hire

INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 27: Justin Herbert #10 of the Los Angeles Rams warms up before playing against the Denver Broncos at SoFi Stadium on December 27, 2020 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 27: Justin Herbert #10 of the Los Angeles Rams warms up before playing against the Denver Broncos at SoFi Stadium on December 27, 2020 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
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(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images) – LA Chargers
(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images) – LA Chargers

Brandon Staley is officially the new coach of the LA Chargers. Last night, LA named the first year defensive coordinator their new head coach:

welcome, coach!

we’ve agreed to terms with Brandon Staley to become our next head coach » https://t.co/x4UtQEGazY pic.twitter.com/UFvI54GCQc

— Los Angeles Chargers (@Chargers) January 18, 2021

This was surprising for a number of reasons. It seemed like Brian Daboll was the pick for the Chargers’ job the whole way. Even ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Daboll was the lead candidate on Saturday morning prior to the Bills kicking off against the Ravens.

When everyone thinks the Chargers are going to zig, they zag. This coaching search was emblematic of just how tight-lipped the Chargers are when it comes to their football decisions.

The LA Chargers don’t typically hire someone wtih Brandon Staley’s age and experience

We’ll get to hiring a defensive coordinator over an offensive-minded head coach in a bit, but Staley’s age is the most shocking thing to me. Sure, the Chargers have hired first-time coordinators before.

Staley’s resume is a lot different though. Anthony Lynn and Mike McCoy had more than a decade each of coaching experience prior to getting hired. Staley had just four years in the NFL.

Staley will become the third-youngest head coach in the league when he takes over in 2021. He’s only older than Sean McVay and Zac Taylor. Throughout the coaching search, we heard that the Chargers wanted to go with someone more experienced even if they weren’t a head coach before. Daboll and Urban Meyer seemed to fit that description.

The last thing I expected from Dean Spanos and Tom Telesco was to make a hire like this. Spanos did give a quote about making sure the organization was “innovative” when they fired Lynn, but this still feels out of left field compared to their usual hires. The average age of the last four coaching hires prior to Staley was 51.

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