The Brandon Staley era will not be remembered very fondly by LA Chargers fans. While Staley was able to pilot the team to the playoffs in his second season, he wound up also piloting one of the worst playoff losses in NFL history. Less than 12 months later, his defense allowed the most points in franchise history. He was fired the next morning.
Los Angeles ultimately replaced Staley with Jim Harbaugh, which is perhaps the biggest hire in the history of the franchise. Hiring Harbaugh made all of the pain throughout the Staley era worth it, but it did not change the fact that he failed as the head coach of the Chargers.
After Staley's defense struggled despite him being a defensive-minded head coach, many assumed that he would have to take a big demotion in his next opportunity and would not get a coordinator job in the NFL. The most likely path for Staley seemed to be a position coach of some kind, or even jumping down to the collegiate level.
However, a new defensive coordinator job just opened with the Miami Dolphins as Vic Fangio and the team agreed to part ways. Staley's defense stems from Fangio's defense, so it could be a natural bridge to bring Staley in to replace Fangio. At least, that is what NFL insider Ian Rapoport is suggesting.
Brandon Staley could be the defensive coordinator of the Miami Dolphins after failing as Chargers head coach
From a logistical standpoint, it makes sense for Staley to replace Fangio. The core of the defense is the same and that would prevent there from being a massive change in scheme. Staley has experience calling plays on defense and even though it didn't work in LA, that could convince Miami to take a chance.
It seems crazy but sometimes teams make decisions that don't make a lot of sense. After all, the Detroit Lions hired Anthony Lynn to be the team's offensive coordinator after he was fired by the Chargers. Lynn ultimately was replaced by Ben Johnson, who will likely become a head coach this offseason.
The Chargers do not play the Dolphins next season so Justin Herbert would not have the chance to torch Staley's defense if he were to be hired. But it would still be a pretty ironic hire for Chargers fans, especially after Week 1 of the 2023 NFL season.
Prior to that matchup, Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel scoffed at a question about preparing for "Brandon Staley's defense". At the time, it seemed like sour grapes as Staley gave the Dolphins one of their worst offensive games of the 2022 season.
But in reality, it was a preview of what was to come as the Dolphins scored 36 points and picked up over 500 yards of offense. McDaniel torched Staley's defense and now he has the chance to hire him four months later.
It seems crazy but hey, Tom Telesco got another GM job with the Las Vegas Raiders. Anything can happen.