The Chargers decided they needed a change at their head coaching spot and fired Anthony Lynn after the season ended. After meeting with numerous candidates, they have finally chosen their next head coach: Brandon Staley, the defensive coordinator of the Los Angeles Rams, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.
Staley had the best defense in the NFL this last season with the Rams. They made it to the playoffs' divisional round and lost to the Green Bay Packers on Saturday. He met with the Chargers face to face on Sunday and had a scheduled visit with the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday.
The Chargers did not let him leave for that meeting.
The former Rams defensive coordinator is seen as "a defensive-minded Sean McVay," which is innovative. Why is that word so familiar? Well, that is the word owner Dean Spanos used when talking about what he wanted in a new head coach.
Staley inherits a defense with playmakers. His two most significant chess pieces will be defensive end Joey Bosa and safety Derwin James. He can use them all over the field, similar to how he used Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey.
“He’s the best defensive coordinator that I’ve had for sure in the NFL,” Ramsey said. “And that’s not shot to anybody else because Coach Wade (Phillips) is a legend and in Jacksonville I had my ups and downs there, but I just really think he’s great at what he does.
“He’s a genius. He’s smart. He’s knows how to use his players, and works well to put his players in position to make plays or have impact on the game. He knows how to get the best out of people. He knows how to calm people down and keep us going throughout the games. I just think he’s great. There’s literally nothing negative I can say about him. I think he would be an amazing head coach.”
He also has rookie linebackers in Kenneth Murray in the middle of his defense. They do have some holes on the defense with defensive end Melvin Ingram, free safety Rayshawn Jenkins, and cornerback Michael Davis set to hit free agency.
One of the prerequisites for any incoming coach for the Chargers is having a plan for soon to be second-year quarterback Justin Herbert. He is coming off a record-setting rookie year and will look to take his game to a whole new level in 2021.
General manager Tom Telesco said, "Whoever the head coach is, no matter what his background is, you have to have a system together that can really work for Justin (Herbert)."
This hire clearly means that Staley has a plan for Herbert. It will be interesting to see if the new head coach retains offensive coordinator Shane Steichen or quarterbacks coach Pep Hamilton.
The Bolts also have numerous weapons on the offensive side of the football. He has receivers Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, along with running back Austin Ekeler. Tight end Hunter Henry is set to become a free agent, and it will be interesting to see if the team re-signs him.
Brandon Staley is the 11th head coach hired since the late Alex Spanos, and he is only the second defensive coordinator to be hired in that span, Marty Schottenheimer was the other.
Many experts believed that the Chargers would hire Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, but they decided to go the defensive route. The Chargers have their 17th head coach in franchise history.