The LA Chargers fired Anthony Lynn after a disappointing 2020 season and hired first-time head coach Brandon Staley to replace him. Staley was coming off of a great season as the Rams' defensive coordinator and obviously had the charisma to win over a room.
Things started out great for Staley in LA. The Bolts started with a 4-1 record in his first season and it appeared as if he had changed the culture in the building. Fans were all-in on Staley, but since that 4-1 start, things have slowly turned against him.
The Chargers missed the playoffs by finishing with a 5-7 record in the final 12 games. Staley's stock with the team hit an all-time low in Week 3 this season after the Bolts were blown out by the Jaguars to move to 1-2 on the season. Suddenly, we were questioning if Staley lost the Chargers' locker room.
Some of that pressure has been taken off with the Bolts winning the next two games but fans are still critical of Staley, especially while seeing what else is happening in the league. The far-less-talented New York Giants moved to 5-1 on the season with a win over the Baltimore Ravens in Week 6. New York has looked like one of the best-coached teams in the league under Brian Daboll.
Brian Daboll could have been the LA Chargers head coach instead of Brandon Staley.
Brian Daboll was one of the candidates that was interviewed for the Chargers coaching vacancy in 2021 and all signs were pointing to Daboll getting the job. Staley being hired did come as a surprise for many fans who wanted to see Daboll with Justin Herbert.
It would be one thing if this was revisionist history and Daboll never had a chance to get the job, but he did. He was a finalist for the job and even went to high school with Tom Telesco. At the time he was most fans' preferred option because of what he had accomplished with Josh Allen in Buffalo. Just imagine what he could do with Justin Herbert.
We are 22 games into Staley's coaching career with the Bolts and it is fair to question if the Chargers got this one wrong. Daboll seemed like the best choice then and he already seems like a better head coach than Staley.
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Of course, we are only six weeks into the NFL season. Daboll could simply be enjoying a hot start with his new team, just like Staley did, and it could come back down to earth. But as it stands right now, Chargers fans are left wondering what could have been.