A historic loss to the Las Vegas Raiders on primetime was enough for the LA Chargers to finally pull the plug. The Chargers fired head coach Brandon Staley on Friday morning after his (now former) team fell to 5-9 on the season.
This move felt like a long time coming as fans were fed up with Staley after his team blew a 27-0 lead in the AFC Wild Card Game last season. However, because he had two winning seasons under his belt, Staley got the benefit of the doubt and returned to coach in 2023.
The results in 2023 have spoken for themselves and losing 63-21 to a backup quarterback was the icing on the cake. The players showed the world that they had given up on Staley as the head coach and it did not take long for ownership to follow the players' lead.
No current players have spoken on the coaching change yet but a former player has left a not-so-subtle message. On a post about the firing on the NFL's Instagram page, former Chargers tight end Jared Cook commented one specific emoji that said it all. As the old saying goes, a picture (or in this case, an emoji) is worth a thousand words.
Jared Cook throws dirt on Brandon Staley after Chargers fire him
It does not take a rocket scientist to realize that there was obviously some baggage there between Cook and Staley. It is never good when a former player publicly comments on his previous head coach like this, so chances are that Cook does not feel alone.
In fact, we know that there are other former Chargers who have something to say. Former fan-favorite receiver Tyron Johnson said that he wants to jump on a podcast and talk shortly after the Staley news was announced.
As time goes on we will likely see more and more nuggets like this being dropped by players who played under Staley. Whether it be former players or players currently on the active roster, don't be surprised if the notebook starts to get emptied with how players really feel about Staley as a head coach.
Thankfully, the Brandon Staley era in Los Angeles is over. Staley has the makings of being a great coordinator or positions coach, but he proved in his two-plus years with the Chargers that he did not have the makings to be a successful head coach.
Don't believe us? Just listen to his former players.