The Los Angeles Chargers have their new head coach. On Sunday night, the team announced that they had agreed to terms with Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Brandon Staley as their new head man. According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the 38-year-old was the Chargers' top choice all along, and now, one of the brightest defensive minds in the NFL will get his chance to take over what could be considered the most attractive job on the open market.
"It doesn't matter if you've known Brandon for five minutes or five years, what quickly becomes apparent is the amount of energy and passion he approaches each and every moment with," President of Football Operations John Spanos said in a statement. "The consistency of that enthusiasm is unique and, most importantly, it drives his ability to connect with people. His coaching journey to this particular moment is inspiring; if not for the sheer perseverance and determination of it all, then certainly for the dramatic results it has produced for the teams and players he has coached. I know it's cliché but I know Brandon quite literally cannot wait to get to work. I also know we cannot be more excited to have him as the Head Coach of the Los Angeles Chargers."
Rapoport reports that the Chargers quietly scheduled a second interview with Staley for after his playoff games. He had other interviews scheduled, but the Chargers apparently had no intention of letting him leave without a deal. Staley just wrapped up his first and what will be his only season with the Rams as their defensive coordinator. The Rams had the No. 1 defense in the NFL in terms of yards allowed per game (281.9) and passing yards allowed per game (190.7). The 18.5 points per game they allowed also ranked first in the league, and was a major reason the Rams finished with a 10-6 record and returned to the postseason after a one-year hiatus.
In Super Wild-Card Weekend, the Rams were matched up against the NFC West champion Seattle Seahawks, who they defeated 30-20 despite being underdogs. Los Angeles held Russell Wilson to just 174 passing yards, picked him off once, and carried the Rams to the divisional round of the playoffs despite them not having a healthy quarterback. The Rams ended their season on Saturday when they were defeated by the Green Bay Packers, 32-18.
Staley began his coaching career in 2006 with Northern Illinois as a graduate assistant. He made the jump to the NFL in 2017 as the outside linebackers coach for the Chicago Bears and served in the same capacity with the Denver Broncos for a single season in 2019. Now, after just four seasons in the league, Staley has been given the opportunity to lead this Chargers franchise into the future.
"It's hard to put into words just how excited I am for the opportunity to be the Los Angeles Chargers' Head Coach," Staley said in a statement. "While this is certainly a dream come true, it's also a dream that's just beginning. There's a reason this was probably the most sought after job out there — from ownership, to the fans, to the city, to the men in that locker room — it's the total package. I can't thank the Spanos family and Tom Telesco enough for placing their faith in us, and by the time everyone is reading this quote in a press release, we'll already be hard at work developing a program Chargers fans everywhere can be proud of."
Multiple reports indicated Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll was the favorite to land the Chargers job, which certainly seemed to make sense considering the Chargers have found their quarterback of the future in Justin Herbert, and could potentially want Daboll to come in and develop him much like he did Josh Allen. Instead, the Chargers are sticking with the defensive side of the ball, but that doesn't mean they are ignoring the offense. Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network reports that the Chargers are confident in Staley's plan for Herbert and that they will work out the details of his coaching staff on offense. Garafolo says that retaining offensive coordinator Shane Steichen is a possibility.
Staley is set to replace Anthony Lynn, who was fired earlier this month. He compiled a 33-31 coaching record with the Chargers and went 1-1 in the postseason.