The biggest storyline surrounding the LA Chargers early in the 2023 season is head coach Brandon Staley and his job security with the team. Staley entered the 2023 season on shaky footing after piloting a blown 27-0 lead in the AFC Wild Card Round.
Thus far, Staley has not done nearly enough to turn the tide back in his favor. Staley was able to calm the noise down a tad by winning two straight games after the bye but the criticism has only ramped up with the team now 2-4.
It isn't just the results on the field, either, as there are now concerns about Staley losing the locker room and being disconnected from his players. Many fans want to see this era of Chargers football end sooner rather than later. The problem (for those fans) is the fact that the Spanos family historically does not fire coaches midseason.
But that does not mean that Staley's job is safe if the Chargers disappoint this season. Staley was recently asked about his job security after falling to the Kansas City Chiefs and his answer said it all.
Brandon Staley all but confirms Chargers will fire him with a disappointing season
This is not the kind of answer that you would hear from a head coach who knows that his job is safe. This is the kind of answer you get from a head coach who knows his seat is warm and knows that he has to turn this ship around or else he will be looking for a coordinator job elsewhere in the league.
Staley didn't outright say it, but he is essentially confirming that if the team did not meet ownership's goals after 17 games played that his job security could be at risk. At that point, Staley will have a full picture of how secure he is and with the way this season is going, it is not looking good.
So what exactly would constitute a disappointing finish to the season? Heading into the year, it seemed like the Chargers needed to win at least one playoff game in order to keep Staley around. At this point, another playoff berth would likely secure Staley's job, even if the team gets bounced in the first round of the playoffs.
Anything short of the playoffs is likely enough to get both Staley and GM Tom Telesco canned after the season. While that may seem like an unfair expectation considering the Chargers haven't made the playoffs in back-to-back years in almost two decades, ownership has also poured a ton of resources into this team to match Staley and Telesco's vision.
There are no more excuses. Staley got all the players he wanted to craft "his defense". He has a star quarterback, he got the front office to buy in with bold contract restructures to run it back this season. He even got to hire a second offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator. Ownership has done everything to make Staley successful.
If he cannot return the favor with a trip to the playoffs then he is gone. Staley all but confirmed that himself.