Chargers part ways with key analytics staffer behind Brandon Staley's fourth downs

Los Angeles Chargers v Las Vegas Raiders
Los Angeles Chargers v Las Vegas Raiders / Ryan Kang/GettyImages

Former LA Chargers head coach Brandon Staley quickly won over fans early in his first season with his aggressive decision-making. The Chargers started 4-1 under Staley's watch with many believing that his advanced way of thinking would lead the team into a new era.

That ultimately ended up being a mirage as the Chargers could never find consistent footing under Staley. Los Angeles finished 5-8 down the stretch to miss out on the playoffs, made the playoffs the following year only to suffer a historic playoff loss and then had a disastrous third season under Staley in 2022.

The aggressive fourth-down decisions were not as popular when the Chargers weren't winning games. It was so bad that former wide receiver Keenan Allen publicly called out his coach and his decision-making while he was on the shelf against the Cleveland Browns in 2022.

Los Angeles is now in a new era with Jim Harbaugh and general manager Joe Hortiz leading the charge. Harbaugh and Hortiz have given the Chargers a fresh start that includes the continued practice of cutting ties with coaches and front-office employees who worked under the previous regime. This includes an analytics staffer that Staley relied on in the past, Aditya Krishnan.

Chargers part ways with analytics staffer who Brandon Staley leaned on

Staley went out of his way to praise Krishnan during the honeymoon phase in 2021. According to Staley, Krishnan played a key role in delivering him the situational numbers on when it made sense to go for it on fourth down or play conservatively.

Krishnan was not a Staley hire, however. The Chargers hired Krishnan, who previously spent time with the Cleveland Browns, prior to the 2020 season. Before hiring Krishnan the Chargers did not have an analytical department in the front office.

Staley also shouted out Alex Stern back in 2021 when discussing his fourth-down play-calling. Stern was hired prior to the 2021 season after the team hired Staley. Unlike Krishnan, Stern is still listed on the Chargers' front-office roster as a research analyst.

Analytics play an extremely important role in today's NFL with some of the best teams in the league embracing this mindset. Just because the Chargers parted ways with a key analytics staffer, and hired a head coach who seems to be more old-school, does not mean the team will completely go against playing the numbers.

However, instead of blindly following the numbers and not factoring in variables that are impossible to enter on an Excel spreadsheet, the Chargers will hopefully adopt more feel than Staley ever had with Harbaugh calling the shots.

Whether or not moving on from Krishnan was necessary to do that remains to be seen.