In his first year as a head coach in the NFL, Brandon Staley helped the Chargers start hot with a 4-1 record. That momentum unfortunately didn’t amount to what many expected as the team went through a plethora of ups-and-downs before stumbling into a season finale matchup with a playoff appearance on the line. Despite a miraculous performance by Justin Herbert in the fourth quarter, the Chargers fell in overtime to the Raiders on a field goal that sailed through as time expired.
It was not exactly what fans expected, even in Staley’s first season at the helm.
That being said, it’s painfully difficult not to come away from the 2021 season with anything less than measurable hope for the immediate future. When you combine that with this offseason’s laundry list of moves made by Staley, Tom Telesco, and the front office, it’s easy to see why some are still fairly high on this group.
According to the fine folks at BetOnline.ag, Staley opened with the second-best odds to win this year’s NFL Coach of the Year award. He’s currently tied with new Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett while both trail only the Raiders’ Josh McDaniels who is also entering his first year at the helm in Las Vegas.
The rest of the top 10 includes (in order): Kevin O’Connell (16/1), Mike McDaniel (16/1), Nick Sirianni (16/1), Brian Daboll (18/1), Doug Pederson (18/1), Kevin Stefanski (18/1), and Kyle Shanahan (18/1). Of those coaches, O’Connell, McDaniel, and Daboll are also heading into their first head-coaching gigs while Pederson is taking over his first head job since being let go by the Eagles.
McDaniels and the Raiders just signed quarterback Derek Carr to a massive three-year, $121.5 million deal that keeps him tied to Las Vegas through the 2025 season. The Broncos also just traded for Super Bowl winner Russell Wilson, so it should come as no surprise that having an established franchise quarterback will greatly help a coach’s odds to come away with this honor.
But what do you all think? Do you agree with the odds above? How would you change them? Let me know below.