The Anthony Lynn era in Los Angeles is officially over, and the Chargers have already found his replacement. They didn’t even have to leave LA to find him, either.
Brandon Staley, who served as the defensive coordinator of the LA Rams for the 2020 NFL season, had been pegged as the Chargers‘ new head coach. Here’s everything you need to know about Staley and what Chargers fans can expect from the first-time head coach?
Brandon Staley’s extensive coaching career
Like many head coaches in the NFL today, Brandon Staley is a former player himself. Staley was a top high school prospect growing up in Ohio, and he went on to play college football at the nearby University of Dayton.
Staley might not be the most well-known name among NFL fans, but he’s actually been coaching football since he was 24. The 38-year-old got his start at Northern Illinois University in 2006 as a graduate assistant, and he earned his first official coaching role in 2009 with the University of St. Thomas (Division III).
After one season as the defensive line/special teams coach at St. Thomas, Staley served as the associate head coach and defensive coordinator of Hutchinson Community College for two seasons. Staley later returned to NCAA Division III in 2013 as the defensive coordinator and secondary coach at John Carroll University.
Eventually, the NFL caught wind of Staley’s success in the lower ranks of the college football world, and the Chicago Bears hired him to be their outside linebackers coach in 2017 when he was just 35 years old. After two seasons with the Bears and one with the Broncos in the same role, Staley joined Sean McVay on the Rams to become LA’s defensive coordinator.
Staley turned the Rams into the NFL’s best defense
Staley only directed the Rams’ defense for one season, but he showed enough in those 18 games to prove he deserves to be a head coach in this league. In his first season as a defensive coordinator in the NFL, Staley transformed the Rams into the No. 1 defense in football.
LA led the NFL in fewest yards allowed per game (281.9), fewest passing yards allowed per game (190.7), and fewest points allowed per game (18.5) in the 2020 regular season.
The Rams dominated even the most prolific offenses they faced this season, which is a testament to Staley’s pedigree as a defensive mind.
What can Chargers fans expect from Brandon Staley?
Chargers fans might’ve expected the franchise to target a bright, up-and-coming offensive coach to pair with Justin Herbert, but LA surprised many by going the defensive route.
It’s easy to see why, though. The Chargers allowed 26.6 points per game in 2020, which was the 10th-worse mark in the NFL. And it’s not as if they don’t have the talent to be a top defense. Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram make up one of the best young pass-rushing duos in the NFL. Casey Hayward, Chris Harris Jr., and Desmond King also have the potential to become a lockdown secondary group.
Brandon Staley is the man who can make that happen.
“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.”
“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,” Chargers president of football operations John Spanos said. “I know it’s cliché, but I know Brandon quite literally cannot wait to get to work.”