It took a 5-9 start and allowing the Las Vegas Raiders to score 63 points with a backup quarterback for the LA Chargers to do something the team hasn't done in 25 years: fire a head coach during a season. Head coach Brandon Staley and GM Tom Telesco were relieved of their duties last Friday.
Chargers fans have moved on. Fans were asking for a head coaching change for months, stemming back to the team's blown 27-0 lead against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the playoffs last season. The Chargers are in a new era and fans are rightfully focused on the future.
But for Staley and Telesco, the job search starts now. While they will still get paid whatever they were owed on the remainder of their contracts, both guys are likely going to look for a job to stay in football. Telesco will have to take a lesser front office role somewhere and Staley will have to take a relegation on another coaching staff.
After seeing how badly the Chargers' defense was at points in the last three years, it might seem impossible for Staley to get another crack as a defensive coordinator. However, the stars are aligning and Staley's next role in the NFL seems painfully obvious.
Brandon Staley will join the Minnesota Vikings coaching staff after being fired by the Chargers
The most obvious coaching staff for Staley to join is out in Minnesota. Some may point at the Miami Dolphins because of Vic Fangio, but Staley is going to look to take over a defense and is going to use his connections in the league to get a job.
There might be a defensive coordinator opening in Minnesota with Brian Flores getting head coaching buzz. If Flores is hired to be a head coach elsewhere that will open the door for Staley to remain a coordinator. Even if it does not happen this cycle, though, Staley may still join the Vikings staff knowing that his turn will come soon.
So why the Vikings? It all has to do with his relationship with Kevin O'Connell. Staley and O'Connell coached together on the Los Angeles Rams and have developed a very close friendship, not just with each other but with their respective families.
Those are the kind of relationships that get you jobs in the NFL and as long as O'Connell is still the coach of the Vikings (he likely will be) then Staley will have a place on that staff. If Flores indeed leaves for a head coaching gig, it might just be a guarantee.
We'll see if Staley goes to Minnesota, though in the meantime, you can claim a $150 bonus from FanDuel Sportsbook by picking ANY NFL Week 16 winner! Sign up, deposit at least $10 and bet $5 or more on any team to win and you'll get $150 in bonus bets if you're right. Sign up for FanDuel now!