Schefter: Sean Payton May Not Be Realistic Option to Replace Chargers' Brandon Staley

Doric SamJanuary 15, 2023

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 11: Former NFL coach Sean Payton speaks during an interview on day 3 of SiriusXM At Super Bowl LVI on February 11, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for SiriusXM )
Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for SiriusXM

After the Los Angeles Chargers' demoralizing defeat against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Saturday's AFC Wild Card Game, many are questioning the job security of head coach Brandon Staley.

There has been speculation that if Staley were fired, Los Angeles would be an ideal fit for Sean Payton if he chose to return to coaching. However, ESPN's Adam Schefter explained why he believes that pairing would be unlikely.

"It's hard to see this franchise, with its history, being as aggressive as it would need to be to go get Sean Payton, as much as he might be able to help that franchise," Schefter said. "So I don't know how realistic that is, but it's hard to imagine that a loss like this wouldn't result in some type of changes."

The Chargers blew a 27-point lead on their way to a 31-30 loss to the Jaguars in front of a prime-time audience. The team was the subject of ridicule on social media, with many calling for Staley to be fired.

Stephen A Smith @stephenasmith

Congratulations <a href="https://twitter.com/SeanPayton?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@SeanPayton</a>. Welcome to Los Angeles as the new coach is the <a href="https://twitter.com/chargers?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@chargers</a>. There is no way Brandon Staley can keep his job after blowing this lead. There's no coming back from this for him!

Schefter went on to suggest that there's a chance the Chargers choose to keep Staley and make other changes to the coaching staff by hiring a new coordinator on either side of the ball. However, he stressed that "there's no way you experience a loss like this and have no fallout from it."

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero reported Saturday that Payton is set to interview for head coaching positions with the Denver Broncos, Houston Texans and Arizona Cardinals, and all three are considered "viable options." However, the Chargers would be a convenient choice for the 59-year-old, as Rapoport reported last month that he would prefer to stay in Los Angeles, where he currently lives and works as a television analyst.

If the Chargers choose to move on from Staley, they would be wise to go against their recent trends and chase a big name like Payton, especially if there is mutual interest. Los Angeles has one of the best young quarterbacks in the league in Justin Herbert and would be an attractive job for an offensive-minded head coach like the one-time Super Bowl winner.