Chargers HC Brandon Staley Press Conference Takeaways

The Chargers head coach goes in depth about the roster and his scheme.
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Chargers head coach Brandon Staley spoke to the media on Thursday afternoon. This would have been the "head coach and media" session during the Owner's Meetings, so instead, he did it via Zoom.

He spoke on various topics from certain players to how he feels like free agency went for the team.

Here are some of the takeaways from his presser:

Free agency

The Chargers went into free agency with some money and were able to sign some solid players. They signed center Corey Linsley, guard Matt Feiler, guard Oday Aboushi, tight end Jared Cook, quarterback Chase Daniel, and edge Kyler Fackrell, and cornerback Ryan Smith.

"I thought we executed our plan at a high level," said Staley about free agency. "I think we went into it with a clear vision of what we wanted to accomplish and who we were able to add really helped our team helped elevate the depth of our team and certainly added a lot of experience and a lot of production."

Left tackle

The left tackle position brings fear to Chargers Twitter because it is an open slot. Staley mentioned that "there's certainly a hole there."

"It's going to be certainly a position that we need to address before July," said Staley. "As you know, there's a lot of different ways to address it within the draft, free agency, or trade. So, there's a lot of different ways that you can do that."

The draft route has first-round prospects Rashawn Slater out of Northwestern or Penei Sewell out of Oregon to fill that spot.

Free agency has Eric Fisher and Alejandro Villanueva still availabel. Both are over 30-years old.

A trade would be for Baltimore Ravens left tackle Orlando Brown Jr.

Jerry Tillery & Nasir Adderley

It is no secret that neither of the 2019 first two draft selections have panned out. Starting with first-round pick defensive tackle Jerry Tillery, who hasn't lived up to the first-round selection. In his first season, he was very quiet and rarely made an impact play. In 2020, he made a little more impact, like in week nine against the Raiders at SoFi. Right before halftime, he stripped-sacked quarterback Derek Carr and recovered it, to which they kicked a field goal.

"I'm a really big fan of Jerry Tillery's game," said Staley. "I think this guy's a versatile inside player. I mean, this guy's got real size speed. This guy's production last year jumped off the page for me."

Staley mentioned he sees Tillery as an inside guy. He will have his work cut out for him because Tillery committed eight penalties last season, of which five of them led to a first down.

The second player mentioned was free safety Nasir Adderley. He was sidelined during his rookie season due to a hamstring injury. It really was a tough transition last year for him, especially because he was thrown into the starting lineup after Derwin James's injury. Staley sees big things in 2021 from Adderley.

"I think he's our type of safety," explained Staley. "He can see in the deep part of the field, he's smooth, he's got a lot of DB traits for us, meaning he's got some versatility. We kind of felt like he had some slot flex, whether he was playing star money, but really think that he's a smooth athlete. Definitely can see in the deep part of the field, which we really value, and think that he's going to be a good fit for how we want to play."


The Chargers decided in free agency to re-sign cornerback Michael Davis to a three-year deal instead of going out and getting someone familiar with Staley's system. Why is that?

"This guy's got real DB stuff out there," Staley explained. "Size, length, real deep speed. I mean, this guy's a comfortable 4.3 running with any of these Cheetah cats out wide. I mean, like all these guys that you know about that you write about, he can run with them. We feel like he's at the beginning of his development."

By "cheetah," it is safe to assume Staley means Kansas City Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill.

Staley also mentioned he loves Davis's story and his nickname "Vato," adding, "I can't wait to sort of call him that all the time."

Secondary Evaluation

There is a hole in the secondary at the third or second or first cornerback spot whatever way Michael Davis and Chris Harris Jr. as seen in the defense. It will be interesting to see if the Chargers address that need on day one, two, or three. Staley spoke in-depth about how he evaluates cornerbacks.

"For us is being able to play man to man, that's where it starts, you have to be able to cover man to man," explained Staley. "We kind of evaluate that in two phases, 'how they play man to man from bump and how they play man to man from off, which is cushion race for us. So, we evaluate that first and foremost. The second thing is what is their movement? Like at level two? When they are off? What is their movement like?”

"We really value that because you can't just press in this league, you have to play off and being able to cover receivers from that position to how do they judge the ball in the deep part of the field? What is their production? Like when the balls in level three? How do they play the ball? What are their ball skills? Like? What's their ball judgment? Like? How do they play in and out of phase? That's really important, then what's their open field tackling like. How are they going to be in run support? Because you can't play defense if you're corners can't tackle."


“We feel like it’s going to be good competition between those two,” said Staley.

That is what the head coach had to say about the quarterback competition between Easton Stick and Chase Daniel. He mentioned that he knows what each quarterback brings, but that it will be an open competition to back up Justin Herbert.

Staley Lingo

Staley threw out some fresh lingo on Thursday. Money, Star, and Edge.

Money is a "dime term."

Star is a "nickel term."

He wants it hammered home that edge players are that edge players. He doesn't call them defensive ends or outside linebackers. He believes that should be called edge players because it helps them out as well.

"It's an easier way of looking at it guys we're doing we're transforming that it's going to help these guys get paid more franchise tag," said Staley. "So, I'm hoping to help players out there."