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Rams DC Brandon Staley humbled by head coaching buzz, focused on Jets

Sean McVay coaching tree growing on defensive side of the ball

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- Brandon Staley smiled and chuckled a little after the question.

How is it to see yourself increasingly mentioned as a prospect for an NFL head coaching job?

“You guys must have got some rest and had a good weekend,” quipped Staley on the zoom video conference Wednesday, coaxing a laugh from reporters.

Staley paused, and then answered about how you would expect the 38-year-old, first-year defensive coordinator of one of the best defenses in the NFL.

“It’s humbling any time you’re considered in those conversations,” Staley said. “I think that’s what you’re after as a competitor, to be recognized among your peers -- the coaches and players -- as someone who is doing a good job. And in that same breath, it’s such an example of our entire team.

“Specifically, starting with our players on defense. The way this defense has come together and accepted me, accepted us in so many ways. Our coaching staff on defense, our coaching staff on all three phases playing as a team. I think that’s why we’re having the season we’re having, because when we take the field, we truly play for the Rams. And I think that’s truly special.”

Pressed further on the potential of leaving at the end of the season for a head coaching job, Staley said he’s only concerned with the present.

“Our full focus really is on how good we can be as a team,” Staley said. “I don’t want to sound unoriginal, but that’s just the way it is around here. We’re just focused on how we can improve from last Thursday night and where we can take this thing this season. And our full focus is on the New York Jets.”

Staley is on the radar (subscription needed) for potential NFL head coaching vacancies after revamping L.A.’s defense into one of the best in the league, which is no surprise to Rams cornerback Darious Williams

“Oh, hell yeah,” Williams said. “The dude is a genius. He’s real smart. He loves football and he knows the people to pick, the guys he wants around him.”

While Staley has got folks attention around the league, Rams head coach Sean McVay is hoping to keep him around for at least one more season.

“One of the best things when we’ve been able to have success is you see other guys get opportunities that I was so fortunate to get a few years ago,” McVay said. “Even though the Rams would get worse, that’s what it’s about. And if that’s something that he wants to do, and he gets an opportunity to compete for the job, there’s no doubt in my mind he’ll do a great job. He’s a phenomenal coach. He’s a great person. And when you look at all the traits and characteristics I would value in a coach, he checks all the boxes.

“I hope I would get at least have one more year with him, But if not, I would be ecstatic for him and his family.”