The LA Chargers needed a win in Week 7 to save the season but that is not what the Bolts came away with. Despite having every opportunity to win the game in the second half, the Chargers fell to the Kansas City Chiefs to move to 2-4 on the season.
The seat has never been hotter for Brandon Staley, who was clearly coaching with his job on the line entering the season. Staley was able to silence some of the noise after an 0-2 start by winning back-to-back games but that noise has picked up again after back-to-back losses.
The Chargers aren't just losing games, though; the locker room also seems as disconnected as ever. Staley and his defensive players had completely different takeaways about the defense after Week 7's loss, showing that Staley is not on the same page with the defense he is meant to run.
It is not just the defensive players who Staley is not on the same page with. Throughout this entire season, running back Austin Ekeler has been very blunt about the Chargers' situation. That continued after Week 7's loss but this time, Ekeler may have slipped up and made it obvious that he is out on Staley as a head coach.
Austin Ekeler says Chargers have "no other choice" than to have faith in Brandon Staley
Ouch. This is not a great look for Staley.
While Ekeler saved the answer with professionalism, his sudden outburst saying that the team had no option but to have faith in Staley is as telling as anything else in this interview. This was not the traditional media talk that you will hear out of a player who just wants to support his coach. This was a very real answer.
The cracks are starting to form in Los Angeles and small outbursts like this are only adding to the crumbling foundation. Nobody on the team is going to outright bash the head coach now but if these answers are already happening then it is not a good sign for Staley, the team, or his job security.
There is also more to the equation with Ekeler specifically. He requested permission to seek out a trade after the Chargers did not want to extend him in the offseason. When nothing formulated, Ekeler agreed to new incentives with the Chargers that would pay him based on performance.
However, Ekeler missed two games with an ankle injury and has not been as productive this season. The situation really broke unfavorably for the veteran running back, who was just trying to maximize his value while he could.
The Chargers did nothing wrong, and quite frankly, they were right to not pay a running back premium money as he enters his 30s. But it certainly adds to the situation, and could be adding to any potential frustration that Ekeler has.
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