While he has not yet coached in a playoff game, Brandon Staley has made big changes to the LA Chargers in the short time he has been the head coach. The 2021 season may not have ended how the team hoped but it was clear that the Bolts made a great hire as they found someone they desperately needed.
The franchise needed someone to come in and change the culture and that is exactly what Staley did. Now after the bumps and bruises from his first season, Staley and the Chargers are primed to make a deep run in the playoffs with one of the best rosters in the league.
Some people are still not buying the Chargers hype, however. In a recent segment on 'Get Up', ESPN pundit and former player Chris Canty predicted that this would be Staley's last season as head coach of the Bolts. Canty cited the potential buzz around Sean Payton, as well as Staley's game-management decisions on fourth down.
Look, no head coach is perfect and we have definitely been critical of Brandon Staley in the past (to the chagrin of Chargers fans), but this is a bit preposterous. Firing Staley after everything he has built over the last two years would set the franchise backward, not forward, even with Payton potentially in the wings.
It would take an absolute disaster for the LA Chargers to fire Brandon Staley
The only way that Brandon Staley gets fired after his second season is if the year is an absolute disaster and the Chargers finish with a very poor losing record. Even if the team misses the playoffs but is competitive Staley would likely get the benefit of the doubt and stick around for at least one more year because of how the players have responded to him and his culture.
Chances are that won't even happen, though. The Chargers went 9-8 last season and arguably have an easier schedule this year. With a much more talented roster, it seems impossible that the Bolts would go backward barring a litany of massive injuries. If there is a laundry list of key injuries then obviously that cannot be pinned on Staley.
People don't like Staley's fourth-down decision-making because it goes against the grain and is against what many believe to be conventional wisdom. While there definitely were some interesting decisions that Staley himself would likely admit he wants back, overall, Staley's aggressiveness had a positive impact on the Chargers.
Critical fans of Staley love to bring up Week 18 or the second Chiefs gams as reasons why his strategy doesn't work. However, those same fans don't bring up the fact that the Chargers do not beat the Browns, the Chiefs (the first time) and maybe even the Eagles without this aggressive play-calling.
This certainly is a bold prediction for Canty, we will give him that, but it is a bit too bold as it simply will never happen.