Rams DC Brandon Staley Agrees to Contract as Chargers' New Head Coach

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJanuary 18, 2021

FILE - In this Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020 file photo, Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Brandon Staley watches his players before an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins in Miami Gardens, Fla. Brandon Staley has only been the Los Angeles Rams' defensive coordinator for 13 games, and everybody already knows he could be on his way up. The 37-year-old Staley's name is prominent in NFL circles this month as the league's less successful teams plot their next head coaching hire.(AP Photo/Doug Murray, File)
Doug Murray/Associated Press

There is no better path for sustained success in the NFL than a dominant pairing of head coach and quarterback, and the Los Angeles Chargers hope they have found their match for Justin Herbert.

Los Angeles announced it hired Rams defensive coordinator Brandon Staley as its next head coach Sunday.

The announcement shared a quote from Staley:

"It's hard to put into words just how excited I am for the opportunity to be the Los Angeles Chargers' Head Coach. 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."

The Chargers were looking for a new head coach after they fired Anthony Lynn following a 7-9 effort in the 2020 season. He was a solid 33-31 in four years at the helm but made the playoffs just once and fell behind the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC West.

Los Angeles has also finished with a losing record in each of the last two years and has just two playoff appearances since the 2009 campaign.

It will be up to Staley to change that, and he already has a step up on most new coaches because of the presence of Herbert.

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

The Chargers selected the Oregon product with the No. 6 overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft, and he wasted little time establishing himself as the quarterback of the future. He challenged for the Offensive Rookie of the Year by completing 66.6 percent of his passes for 4,336 yards, 31 touchdowns and 10 interceptions while adding 234 yards and five scores on the ground.

There were few throws he couldn't make with touch on deep balls and the ability to fit passes through tight windows, and it is not difficult to envision him leading Los Angeles for a decade or more if his rookie season was any indication.

Fortunately for the new coach, Herbert isn't the only building block on the roster.

Los Angeles also has Joey Bosa and Derwin James on defense to go with Keenan Allen and Austin Ekeler on offense. That alone gives it plenty of playmakers with star potential as it attempts to challenge the best teams in the AFC under its new head coach.

It also has the No. 13 overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft to add yet another franchise cornerstone to the roster.

Staley has the daunting task of contending with the Chiefs in the AFC West, but there is plenty of talent throughout the roster.

It is an opportunity new coaches who take over a struggling team rarely have in their first year, and Staley proved he can lead a dangerous defense during the 2020 season as the Los Angeles Rams' defensive coordinator.

Los Angeles made the playoffs in large part because the defense finished first in the league in points and yards allowed.

Whether Staley can help the defense play at such a level with the Chargers while Herbert leads the offense will likely determine his level of success.