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Brandon Staley back in 2023, believes in Chargers’ culture

Jan 14, 2023; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Los Angeles Chargers head coach Brandon Staley reacts against the Jacksonville Jaguars during a wild card playoff game at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Chargers are rolling the dice on Brandon Staley leading the team to better days in 2023.

Following a crushing playoff defeat at Jacksonville, Staley emerged gainfully employed from a Tuesday meeting with ownership and general manager Tom Telesco, who was also told he would be back in 2023.

Staley was spared his job, and the Chargers’ head coach said a positive culture established during his two seasons on the job is enough reason to believe the franchise is on the verge of a breakthrough.

“I have a lot of confidence in how we do things here, and what we’ve been able to accomplish,” Staley said Wednesday of whether he was worried he could be fired. “I am aware of the speculation. I have to be briefed on it to be prepared … and I do have a family. But I was not worried about that because I know what goes on here on a day-to-day basis. I know what we have on that locker room. I know what’s out on that field. I’m excited to keep going.”

Big changes are coming on Staley’s staff.

Offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi and quarterbacks coach Shane Day were fired this week as the dust settled from the 31-30 wild-card loss to the Jaguars. Jacksonville erased a 27-point deficit to end the season for the Chargers in dramatic disappointment.

The risk-embracing Staley is 19-15 as a head coach and said the final results are his responsibility. A 10-7 record in 2022 included a mark of 1-5 against 2022 playoff teams.

“I needed to coach better in all three phases and I didn’t,” Staley said. “I take full responsibility.”

Los Angeles finished in the top 10 in multiple offensive categories in 2022 thanks in large part to 24-year-old quarterback Justin Herbert. With Herbert (4,739 passing yards, 25 TDs in 2022) and running back Austin Ekeler (1,637 total yards, 18 TDs) as the linchpins, the vacancy alongside Staley should be quite attractive.

The Chargers are planning to hire a coach who will implement a scheme and approach familiar to Staley. He mentioned Rams coach Sean McVay — Staley was hired after serving as McVay’s defensive coordinator — and 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan when asked for a philosophical guidepost to the type of hire he’s seeking at offensive coordinator.

“I think we have one of the top jobs in the league,” Staley said. “We’re going to be thorough with our process. There’s not a rush to do anything. You want to make sure that you hire the best coach.”

–Field Level Media