By Cameron Buford, Whatsgoodinsports.com

The Los Angeles Chargers finished yet another dismal season with a subpar 7-9 record this past season under the leadership of Head Coach Anthony Lynn. As the Head Coach of the Los Angeles Chargers, Anthony Lynn compiled a 33-31 record in four years. After the past 2 years of injuries riddled, underachieving teams with poor clock management Anthony Lynn was relieved of his duties after the final game of the 2020 season.

Just this past week the Los Angeles Chargers introduced their new Head Coach to the NFL and their fan base. In this hire, they followed the recent trend, which is a return to an old philosophy, of hiring young coaches. Just as when the Oakland Raiders hired John Madden to be their Head Coach at 32 years of age. Madden had a 12-1 as a rookie, a career record of 103-32-7 in 10 seasons with 1 Super Bowl Championship. The Miami Dolphins hired Don Shula at 33, who eventually became the NFL’s winningest coach in league history. Shula went 8-6 as a rookie and had a career record of 328-156-6 in 33 Seasons, with 2 Super Bowl Champions. Most recently the Los Angeles Rams hired Shawn McVay at age 30. McVay went 11-5 as a rookie and has led his team to one Super Bowl appearance in his second season as their head coach.

The Los Angeles Chargers can only hope to have such success with the hire of their new Head Coach, 38-year-old, Brandon Staley. According to John Spanos, they were looking for someone “with leadership qualities” an immense “knowledge of the game.” Last season Brandon Staley was the Defensive Coordinator of the Los Angeles Rams, under his tutelage the Rams finished the season with the league’s #1 defense. Previously, Staley was the Outside Linebackers Coach of the Chicago Bears for 1 season. He also spent his first 2 seasons in the NFL, as the Outside Linebackers Coach for the Denver Broncos before that.

This Perry, Ohio native is the son teacher and coach in addition to being a graduate of the Dayton Flyers. Diagnosed at 24 with Hodgkin Lymphoma Staley has been cancer-free for over a decade following his chemotherapy. Sadly Brandon’s mom Linda died of breast cancer years ago and his father is currently battling prostate cancer. When asked about sharing his message with the Southern California community he says, “That’s what exciting about this platform when you can be part of a movement that helps people. You have a responsibility to do it.”

Brandon Staley has spent many years as a defensive position coach before becoming a defensive coordinator, though he prides himself on “being an offensive coach that coaches defensive.” Staley also states that he’s been preparing for this moment since being in the first grade. He proudly states, “I started drinking coffee in the first grade and reading the sports page because I wanted to be here doing this job.”

When asked about what solidified his decision to be the Chargers Head guy Coach Staley responded by saying, “number one was the people, the leadership, and the ownership, I think it really starts there. Having our vision align with one another; my family means everything to me so I wanted people that accepted my family and wanted our vision of how to lead a team.”

During his 90 plus minute zoom call, Coached Staley was asked countless questions from the media based in Southern California and abroad. Not really being familiar with his work or vision I was

interested to know which traits would be considered indicative of a Brandon Staley coached football team and he responded by saying, “something that is really important to me Cameron, is that we have a connected team. When you talk about the traits of a championship team and a team that certainly I’m going to try and build is a connected team. A team that knows one another; offense, defense, and the kicking game. A team that knows how we’re planning to win the game. But even before that, how we’re planning to compete, together. Competition comes long before winning does; a connected team is certainly at the forefront of what we are trying to create here.”

I was satisfied with that answer, however, Coach Staley didn’t stop there, he expounded on his response by saying, “and I think a team that’s mentally and physically tough! This is a really, really difficult game, a really difficult league and you have to have guys with make-up, you know Cameron. You’ve got to have guys with make-up, that when you play in all these big game, all these tight games against all these great players and coaches… You got to have guys, that when you got to have, you have it! You can only do that with people with make-up.” After hearing this response he had me ready to suit up again!

Being raised by teachers Coach Staley has developed an ability and comfortability teaching, when asked about this he said, “The people that can explain things the best, can get their players ultimately, to play well when it counts… when we teach we’re connecting with our guys!” Coach Staley went on to say when asked about his coaching style, “You got to be on a mission every day in the NFL. I think that’s one thing that has to start right away. But having guys that are on a mission… in the NFL it’s too competitive for you not to be on one. Even more than that, you’ve got to be on a mission together!”

As with President of Football Operations John Spanos and General Manager Tom Telesco I was extremely impressed with Brandon Staley and his ability to connect with people. He is dialed in on the vision of the team he wants. He emphasized being keen on “Relationships and Competition” and “the team being on a mission” being critical to the development of the franchise. Kindly share your thoughts on what you have noticed about Brandon Staley by reaching out to me on Twitter @whatsgoodnsport. Or forward any suggestions on what topics or angles you would like to see discussed to info@whatsgoodinsports.com.

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