Before fans and pundits knew the kind of head coach the Chargers had in Brandon Staley, he already began gaining some comparisons to TV’s favorite football coach.
Brandon Staley was likened to the title character of the hit show Ted Lasso midway through his rookie season. Much like Ted, many of Brandon’s press conferences, speeches, or media appearances sound like the perfect script of what coaches should say in any given scenario.
With tonight’s finale of Ted Lasso, let’s celebrate by drawing parallels between these top quotes and lessons from Ted and current Charger storylines.
“I promise you there is something worse out there than being sad, and that’s being alone and being sad. Ain’t no one in this room alone.”
It’s hard to imagine a worse start to an offseason than losing a playoff game like the Chargers did to the Jaguars. It was the kind of loss that felt all too familiar or perhaps even predictable for long-tenured Charger fans, despite the new era ushered in by Staley and Justin Herbert.
However, Staley and Tom Telesco BELIEVE in the squad they’ve assembled. Given their cap constraints going into the offseason, Telesco had the option to re-tool his roster by trading or releasing some top players for draft picks and financial flexibility. He instead choose to keep the locker room largely intact, potentially leveraging the team’s future by pushing cap consequences from restructured contracts into future years.
“Our goal is to go out like Willie Nelson — on a high!”
Before the Tom restructured the contracts of Mike Williams, Keenan Allen, Joey Bosa, and Khalil Mack, there was plenty of speculation that one or two of these stars would be dealt free up cap space. Instead, Tom kept them all on restructured deals, and pushed $40million of cap hits into the next two years.
On draft weekend, Telesco’s first two selections were receiver Quentin Johnston and EDGE Tuli Tuipulotu. Although the band was kept together for 2023, speculation is rampant that this is in fact the farewell tour for at least two of these core teammates, adding even greater importance for success this season.
“I came here tonight, because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life coaching with somebody, you want the rest of your life to begin asap.”
Kellen Moore and the Cowboys parted ways on January 29th. Less than 24 hours later, he was picked up by the Chargers.
It’s safe to say Staley wanted the rest of his life (or at least his post-Joe Lombardi life) to begin ASAP.
“I feel like we fell out of the lucky tree and hit every branch on the way down, ended up in a pool of cash and Sour Patch Kids.”
Justin Herbert has to feel like he’s taken a tumble down the “lucky tree” with every bit of good news he’s received this offseason.
The first lucky branch was the signing of Kellen Moore as mentioned above. Next up, the Chargers re-signed their ascending right tackle Trey Pipkins, and in doing so locked in three years of continuity for the entire offensive line. Finally, Telesco selected Quentin Johnston and Darius Davis, two speedy playmakers that should provide Herbert with some extra field-stretching ability this offseason. Lightning struck three times for the Chargers’ quarterback.
“If that’s a joke, I love it. If not, can’t wait to unpack that with you later.”
Sebastian Joseph-Day set Twitter on fire when he visited San Diego in April and expressed himself in an explosive way.
SJD probably didn't know what he was getting himself into when he tweeted (then deleted) this pic.twitter.com/iDbIV5AiSg— Bolt Beat (@BB_Chargers) April 30, 2023
It’s hard to tell if Bash knew the storm he would cause with that tweet, or if he just likes watching Twitter burn, but it was a comical situation either way.
“I think that you might be so sure that you’re one in a million, that sometimes you forget that out there you’re just one in 11.”
Derwin James is everything a coach, manager, teammate or fan could want out of a player. He has an unrelenting motor, is otherworldly talented, and is an incredibly high-energy and positive leader.
Despite all of this, the Chargers defense actually played three of their best games when James was not on the field, and all three games resulted in wins. Some fans posed questions about whether this was due to Derwin actually being shuffled around too much in the defense, and if this created unnecessary confusion for his teammates.
The Chargers defense ran Cover 2, 6 or 2 Man against twelve Dolphins dropbacks in passing down situations (2nd & 7+/3rd & 3+). Often featuring late movement at the snap.— Nate Tice (@Nate_Tice) December 12, 2022
Tua Tagovailoa on those dropbacks:
2/10, 21 yards, 2 sacks, 1 first down.
(data via @TruMediaSports) pic.twitter.com/YtkD1QLy0e
Keep an eye out for whether Staley simplifies Derwin’s responsibilities this upcoming year, or whether another year of continuity for this secondary allows for more fluidity and success in the defensive backfield.
“As the man once said, the harder you work, the luckier you get.”
J.C. Jackson had an extremely rough start to his Charger career, never showcasing his full potential in the first six games of the season before suffering from a dislocated knee and ruptured patellar tendon.
Jackson has since endeared himself to fans after posting infrequent but impactful workout updates. The latest showed him running on a treadmill at a very impressive pace, given where he is at in his recovery timeline.
J.C. Jackson might be an early contender for Comeback Player of the Year at the rate he is going. A successful return would have nothing to do with luck, and everything to do with how much work this man has done to get himself right.
“[Keenan] was more open than the jar of peanut butter on my counter.”
Keenan Allen ended the season on quite the hot streak, despite returning from an injury that can cause some regression or lingering effects until it has fully healed.
If you recognize these stats, this is a portion of a Tau’s FanPost where he broke down Allen’s late season success, which was retweeted by Allen:
If Allen returns as the Slayer we all know him to be, and stays relatively healthy throughout the year, the floor of this offense is extremely high.
“I believe in communism. Rom-communism, that is.”
The Chargers’ social media team dropped this beauty below, and sparked hilarious “bromance” chatter on Twitter. The plot to a Herbert and Moore romcom would have to end with a Super Bowl, so here’s to believing in the power of Hollywood.
yo bro, who got you smiling like that? pic.twitter.com/zkDv9W6Kkl— Los Angeles Chargers (@chargers) May 23, 2023
“Your body is like day-old rice. If it ain’t warmed up properly, something real bad could happen.”
Shortly before the NFLPA’s “NFL Player Team Report Cards” came out, the Chargers fired their head trainer.
In their overview, the NFLPA mentioned that the Chargers parted ways with former head trainer Damon Mitchell after the conclusion of this survey.— Michael Peterson (@ZoneTracks) March 1, 2023
So yes, these numbers apparently very much do matter for those in the building. https://t.co/clc0uzlfDK
Damon Mitchell had been the Chargers head athletic trainer for six season and with the organization for 24 seasons total. The Chargers currently have four assistant athletic trainers listed on their staff page, so who ends up filling this void remains to be seen.
The Chargers have regularly lost stars to injuries despite having Ironmen quarterbacks in Philip Rivers and Justin Herbert. 2022 was no different, with the Bolts regularly finding themselves on the bottom of the FOX NFL’s BUS Rankings.
Turning the corner in injury prevention and recovery would be a huge step in the right direction for this organization. Perhaps a new trainer can convince them to put real grass at their new training facility before they install the artificial turf...
This one speaks for itself.
The Chargers have all the talent they need to make a serious Super Bowl run this year. It’s not easy given how many teams this fanbase has been burned, but we have a roster worth believing in this season!
For those of you that follow Ted Lasso, I hope you enjoy the finale tonight!