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Brandon Staley loves Chargers’ progress however takes run at offense


Unlike many observers outdoors the group, Brandon Staley stated Wednesday he by no means felt his job as Chargers’ head coach was in jeopardy.

Staley confronted vital scrutiny all through the center a part of the season after which once more following the group’s regular-season finale and subsequent wild-card playoff loss.

“I have a lot of confidence in the way we’ve done things for two years,” he stated. “I have a lot of confidence in what I see on the football field. I know the type of improvement that we’ve been able to make since I’ve been here.”

The 2022-23 Chargers completed 10-7 — a one-game enchancment over Staley’s first season — and secured the AFC’s prime wild-card spot. The franchise hadn’t been to the playoffs since the 2018 season.

But Staley was second-guessed nationally for enjoying most of his starters deep into the second half of an in any other case meaningless regular-season finale at Denver.

Worse, broad receiver Mike Williams suffered a fracture in his again within the second quarter in opposition to the Broncos and was unavailable for the group’s playoff recreation at Jacksonville.

In that contest Saturday evening, the Chargers constructed a 27-0 second-quarter lead solely to lose to the Jaguars 31-30 on the ultimate play.

“I was really proud of this season, especially with all the challenges that were happening throughout,” Staley stated, referring to the group’s many accidents. “I felt that the way we finished the season said a lot about the guys in our locker room.”

Sitting at 6-6 in early December, the Chargers received 4 in a row to seize a postseason berth. All the momentum of that surge rapidly disappeared with consecutive shaky performances.

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On Tuesday, the fallout started when the Chargers parted methods with Joe Lombardi and Shane Day, their former offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, respectively.

Staley pointed to the group’s struggles working the ball — the Chargers completed thirtieth in yards speeding — as a figuring out think about making modifications to his offensive workers.

Since he was employed in January 2021, Staley has talked a few need for the Chargers to be a troublesome, line-of-scrimmage group. In his two seasons, the group hasn’t reached that standing.

“I think that there’s a different level that we need to play at offensively,” Staley stated, “particularly at the line of scrimmage in the run game and having the marriage of the run and the pass, creating more explosions on early downs.

“There’s just a style of play that’s still out there for us. I think we’ve made improvements each season toward heading where I think we can ultimately go as a football team.”

The Chargers’ loss Saturday evening was made potential partly as a result of they had been unable to run the ball within the second half and eat precious time without work the clock. They rushed eight instances for 20 yards after halftime.

Chargers assist quarterback Justin Herbert (10) to his toes after getting knocked down by Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Travon Walker (44), not pictured. An absence of a working assault has stifled the star quarterback.

(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

An improved working recreation, Staley defined, will solely assist quarterback Justin Herbert’s move manufacturing and the offense’s general potential to generate explosive performs.

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“The offenses that I think are the most challenging to defend,” he stated, “are the ones that put a lot of pressure on you every snap in terms of marrying the run game to the pass game.”

One of essentially the most outstanding names out there as a substitute for Lombardi is Frank Reich, who was in his fifth season as Indianapolis’ head coach earlier than being fired in early November.

Reich spent two years — 2014-15 — because the Chargers’ offensive coordinator beneath Mike McCoy. Along with offensive coordinator curiosity, Reich is a candidate for at the least two open head teaching jobs.

Staley on Wednesday talked extra glowingly of pursuing a coordinator from the Kyle Shanahan/Sean McVay teaching tree, explaining, “That’s the offense that I believe in.”

Those candidates may embrace Mike LaFleur, who most just lately was offensive coordinator of the New York Jets, and two Rams assistants: Thomas Brown (assistant head coach/tight ends) and Zac Robinson (move recreation coordinator/quarterbacks coach).

Whomever the Chargers rent, the emphasis shall be on turning into a extra full offense that isn’t overly reliant on Herbert’s proper arm.

“What you have to have is the balance,” Staley stated. “You have to put pressure on the defense. You have to put the pressure on them on the perimeter, on the interior, top shelf of the coverage, level two. … That’s what it takes to become an explosive team.”

The loss at Jacksonville included essentially the most startling second of Staley’s head teaching tenure to this point, an odd-looking trade involving a annoyed Joey Bosa.

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Mad on the officers, Bosa slammed his helmet to the turf as he was leaving the sector within the fourth quarter. Staley rapidly retrieved the helmet and handed it again to Bosa, who then threw it down once more.

Staley was requested if the incident hinted at a program teetering on uncontrolled, particularly on condition that Bosa is among the Chargers’ group captains.

“Anyone that knows our football team knows that … isn’t true,” he stated. “[They know] our locker room is tight, that we made improvements in every way and that the culture of our team is as strong as it has ever been since I’ve been here.

“That’s what I saw after the game and the next day — as compared to a year ago — just how much tighter our locker room is. That’s why it was so disappointing because I know that, dissimilar to last year, this team felt like it could win a world championship.

“I think that’s a really positive thing. Now, we just have to get our minds engineered toward what’s next and making the improvements that we need to make.”


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