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NFL rumors: Los Angeles Chargers to hire Brandon Staley as head coach

NFL rumors: Chargers hire Brandon Staley
Jan 9, 2021; Seattle, Washington, USA; Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay watches pregame warmups against the Seattle Seahawks at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

NFL rumors have been linking young Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Brandon Staley to head coach jobs over the past several weeks. Just recently, it was noted that the 38-year-old assistant was set to interview for vacancies with the Los Angeles Chargers and Philadelphia Eagles.

Well, Staley never made it to Pennsylvania. One day after his Rams were eliminated from the NFL Playoffs, Staley has already reportedly agreed to become the Chargers’ next head coach.

“The Chargers are hiring Rams DC Brandon Staley as their new head coach, sources tell me and Tom Pelissero. An impressive young candidate, he gets a prime job in LA,” NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reported Sunday evening.

That was a relatively quick process right there. As Rapoport noted, Staley took part in his second interview with the Chargers on Sunday and was almost immediately hired.

This comes after just one season as a defensive-player caller in the NFL. Prior to his stint with the Rams, Brandon Staley had served as an assistant coach with the Chicago Bears (2017-18) and Denver Broncos (2019). It’s a meteoric rise for the up-and-coming coach.

Related: If you’re a fan of the Chargers, check out #BoltUp rumors, rankings, and news here.

Impact of the Chargers hiring Brandon Staley

NFL rumors: Chargers hire Brandon Staley to be new head coach
Aug 22, 2020; Inglewood California, USA; Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Brandon Staley during a scrimmage at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

As we noted before, NFL rumors had linked Staley to multiple openings over the past several weeks. In addition to the Eagles and Chargers, he was drawing interest from the downtrodden Houston Texans. For good reason.

This past regular season saw Staley lead the Rams to No. 1 overall rankings in yards and points allowed. That’s no small feat given that he was tasked with replacing the legendary Wade Phillips as the defensive coordinator in Los Angeles.

Staley now joins a Chargers team that has building blocks on defense. That includes stud edge rusher Joey Bosa and injury-plagued former All-Pro safety Derwin James. Working under new Raiders defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, the Los Angeles defense ranked in the top 10 in yards allowed, but were in the bottom 10 in points allowed.

We can expect NFL rumors to link Rams assistants to Brandon Staley’s staff with the Chargers

Now that the Chargers have settled on a defensive-minded head coach, the goal here will be to build up a proven and talented coaching staff on the other side of the ball. It’s not dissimilar to the Jets hiring former San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh last week. Saleh brought some assistants on offense with him to Jersey. Expect the same from Staley in Los Angeles. That’s especially true with young quarterback Justin Herbert under center.

Rams run-game coordinator Aaron Kromer has experience as an offensive coordinator in the NFL. Pass-game coordinator Shane Waldron could also be an option to call plays with the Chargers.

It’s also important to note that former Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich led a ninth-ranked Bears scoring offense when he was on the same staff in Chicago as Staley back in 2018.