In a recent article by Cody Benjamin at CBS Sports, he gave letter grades to all of the new hires around the NFL, but the Chargers and Brandon Staley didn’t get the shimmering grade we’d all have liked to receive.
Benjamin gave the hire a “C”, behind the likes of Robert Saleh and the Jets (A) and Urban Meyer in Jacksonville (B).
Here’s his reasoning below:
If you look up the phrase “meteoric rise,” you might find Staley’s name. Five years ago, this guy was coaching at Division III John Carroll University. At 38, he has just four total seasons of NFL coaching experience. Prior to succeeding Wade Phillips as the Rams’ DC in 2020, he had only been an outside linebackers coach. So you’ll have to excuse us if we’re not totally buying in on Staley as “the guy” just yet. To be fair, his Rams “D” was really good, ranking No. 6 despite the trusty Phillips’ departure, and he’s drawn rave reviews as an up-and-coming leader. But you have to consider the situation: L.A. arguably needed an offensive mind more than anything, with young Justin Herbert emerging at quarterback. If Staley can bring aboard a top-tier coordinator, that’s great, but what happens if/when that OC departs in a year or two? We’re supposed to believe Staley’s the key to unlocking Herbert’s upside because ... he played QB in high school? He may prove us all wrong. But this feels like a bit of a stretch at a crucial transition period.
Benjamin makes several mistakes above. First, Benjamin states that the Rams defense ranked sixth in some shape or form. But how? The Rams finished as the NUMBER ONE defense in total yards allowed, passing defense, and points allowed per game. They were also third in rushing defense. In what major category did they rank sixth?
Secondly, he completely leaves out the fact that Staley played quarterback collegiately at the University of Dayton, but instead leaves it as “high school.” This downplays his actual experience and resume.
By no means does this hire warrant a “C.” Yes, there can be some hesitation due to his lack o of overall experience, but one year of running the top defense in the NFL is still nothing to scoff at. There are plenty of DCs who have had jobs for years who haven’t touched the top five. It’s also better to be aggressive when hiring the next up-and-coming coach than to be passive and risk letting them go.
Just my two cents.
Now for today’s links.
Cody Benjamin gives the hiring of Brand Staley a “C” (CBS Sports)
Brandon Staley could poach Rams OC Kevin O’Connell (CBS Sports)
Alexander Insdorf explains why the hiring of Brandon Staley was a surprise (Bolt Beat)
Gavino Borquez highlights four options for the Chargers OC position (Chargers Wire)
Bill Barnwell highlights the flaws of the four teams who lost over the weekend (ESPN)
Ohio State QB Justin Fields declared for the 2021 draft (ESPN)
Chris Trapasso’s latest 2021 mock (CBS Sports)
Deshaun Watson tells fans to not go through with Pro-Watson march (Bleacher Report)
Patrick Mahomes is still in the concussion protocol (NFL.com)
The Bucs have designated DT Vita Vea to return from IR (Pro Football Talk)