When the Los Angeles Chargers hired Brandon Staley, there were questions about whether it would have been better to hire an offensive minded head coach to help with the development of quarterback Justin Herbert.
General manager Tom Telesco said after the season that if a non-offensive minded head coach were hired, they would need to have a great plan for Herbert and the offense. Clearly, Staley has a plan for the young quarterback and his offense.
"I think that my vision for the offense really fit Justin, what he can do well, where we want to take it and how we want to play and feature his style of play," explained Staley. "Not being able to impose a system on him is creating the system for Justin and uniquely shaping it to his skillset because he is unlike anybody in the NFL."
Just because he isn't an offensive mind doesn't mean he can't help with Herbert's development. Staley mentioned six defensive head coaches who have developed quarterbacks and won Super Bowl ring during his press conference.
Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson & Troy Aikman (two rings)
Patriots Bill Belichick & Tom Brady (six rings)
Colts coach Tony Dungy & Peyton Manning (one ring)
Steelers Mike Tomlin & Ben Roethlisberger (one ring)
Ravens John Harbaugh & Joe Flacco (one ring)
Seahawks Pete Carroll & Russell Wilson (one ring)
Staley wants to create a system that fits his quarterback, which is smart. He is a former quarterback at Dayton, so he has an understanding of both sides of the football.
"I want to share all the knowledge that I have to help Justin to hopefully have a dual education," Staley said. "There's other education that I can hopefully give him to shape and complete his game as a player."
Last Sunday, after his second meeting with owner Dean Spanos, President of Football Operations John Spanos, and general manager Tom Telesco he was offered the job. Staley compared it to when a rookie player is drafted and walks across the stage to meet NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
On his way home, he called his wife, Amy, first, then he called Herbert.
"I just wanted him to hear my voice," explained Staley. "You know, I did it with a lot of the guys, but I just wanted Justin to know a little bit about me, I wanted him to know about my family."
The rookie quarterback can't meet his new head coach because he is back home in Eugene, Oregon, with his family.
Herbert is coming of a record breaking rookie season, but now has his fourth head coach in five seasons dating back to his Duck days and quite frankly could be his fifth offensive coordinator in that span.
Staley was with his family on the way to his first press conference as the head coach of the Los Angeles Chargers. He decided to facetime his quarterback.
"I wanted him to see us before our big day, and I wanted him to know going into a big day that he's such a big part of it," said Staley.
The head coach mentioned that he checked out a couple of games last year and that something stood out to him.
"The best quarterbacks are great at the end of the games (and) end of half," Staley said. "I think Justin certainly expressed himself in the NFL in that way, and what's exciting is you know he's just at the beginning."
The Chargers had a problem late in games last season. They would either call the wrong plays, miss field goals or something just went wrong. It could have been bad for Herbert, but the last four games of the season changed a lot.
Herbert was able to make numerous throws and win three games in a row on the final drive. It did wonders for his confidence.
"Fired up to really dive into his game because there is just so far to go," said Staley. "That's what's going to be exciting, to see how far we can take this together."
Together is a keyword. Staley understands how important the relationship is between a head coach and the quarterback.
Staley is known for building special relationships with his players like cornerback Jalen Ramsey, outside linebacker Khalil Mack, and Von Miller, to name a few. For him, relationships are everything, and he started with the right player.
"You have to earn the players' trust, and there's not a bigger person whose trust we need to earn than Justin's," Staley said.