By Cameron Buford, whatsgoodinsports.com
Each time we get a chance to meet with newly signed Los Angeles Chargers Head Coach Brandon Staley, I feel smarter afterward. Although these meetings have been over Zoom, we won’t know how his message has been received by the players until they get on the grass during OTA’s (Organized Team Activities) and Training Camp before the kickoff of the 2021 NFL season.
Coach Staley, and his coaching staff, consider themselves educators of the game and I am sure they are just as eager to see how their message will be received during this pandemic we are managing through. Last week was our most recent opportunity to talk with Coach Staley and understand his logic for making the Free Agent acquisitions they did.
There was a deluge of information shared with us during this conference call with Chargers Head Coach Brandon Staley and this article will share with you some of the pertinent takeaways as I heard it.
Staley responded as you may have guessed when asked about the depth at Safety position stating, “I don’t think you could have enough DB’s in the current NFL. What you have to defend and who you have to defend I think having DB’s on your team, a lot of depth at that position is a great idea. Where it also impacts your team, is in the kicking game. The more DB’s you have on your roster that are quality players, the more impact they have in the kicking game.” In translation, they will be using many defensive backs in the kickoffs teams and punt teams with the intention of them being to cover effectively and tackle.
Coach Staley made it clear that he will not be using the term Outside Linebackers, when he stated “Guys that’s what we’re going to call them, we’re going to call the EDGE players if that’s ok with you. Joey Bosa is an EDGE player for us, Ucheena Nwosu is an EDGE player for us.” Translation, the role and expectation of an EDGE player and the Outside Linebacker won’t change, only how this coaching staff will refer to this position.
I suspect they would be looking for a Tight End in the draft. Although Jared Cook is an NFL veteran, I don’t think he is an adequate replacement for Hunter Henry. Now Hunter Henry, at 26-years-old, would have been more expensive as he
signed a 3 year deal for $37,500,000.00 deal with the New England Patriots. In comparison to 34-year-old Jared Cook who signed a 1 year deal for $4,500,000.00.
Therefore, I was looking to hear what type of tight end he favored, so I could project one they would pick in the draft. I got was much more than that when I asked, what does the ideal Tight End look like to him? “There’s different sizes now; on the line Y tight ends or F tight ends where you move guys off the line, guys that can play detached from the formation. That’s a position that has become a hybrid position of sorts. You kind of categorize the tight ends as Y only, then you got guys who are F only and you have guys who can do either, Y and F.” “I think what you’re starting for at tight-end is the ability to have value in the passing game. What type of receiver is he; Is he a vertical threat; is he a level 1, level 2 threat; is he a separator? How does he catch the ball in traffic; Can he split out from the formation; how does he play as a wideout? A lot of those things go into the evaluation.”
Coach Staley wasn’t done describing how he sees the tight-end position folks, “Then at the point of attack, how is he at the line of scrimmage; how is off the line of scrimmage? How is his balance and body control working across the formation or in combination with people as a blocker? From there you talk about his pass protection ability. If you have a deep room (tight end room) and a versatile room it creates an advantage for you schematically.”
If you haven’t noticed quite yet, the Chargers have hired a very sharp guy to coach their team. In addition to being a smart guy and great communicator, he appears to be a people person as well. While I love all the technical football talk, my favorite quote of the day was when he said, “If you invest in people, you’re going to get a lot in return!” He said this about how he’s developed relationships with players he’s coached in the past.
One thing is for sure, there will be ‘no dumb jocks’ playing on this iteration of the Chargers. Kindly share your thoughts with us on your impression of the Chargers Head Coach Brandon Staley. You can reach out to me on Twitter @whatsgoodnsport or forward any suggestions on what additional topics or angles you’d like to see discussed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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