Brandon Staley coached the majority of the 2022 season surrounded by whispers and murmurs regarding his job security following a rough slew of injuries that derailed any early-season momentum his team may have garnered through their first eight games.
After losing two-straight to fall to 5-5 on the season, many wondered if this was going to be a quick exit from Los Angeles for Staley should he have failed to make the playoffs for another season despite employing one of the league’s most-talented rosters. Ultimately, the noise faded as the Chargers surged down the final stretch to a 10-7 final record and their first playoff appearance since 2018.
Unfortunately, all the positivity came to a sudden halt when the team fumbled a 27-0 lead over the Jaguars to earn a first-round exit. Not the least bit surprising, every boo bird and non-believer came out of the woodwork to start calling for Staley’s job, and some even for a potential revamp of the entire front office. Ultimately none of that came to pass, but the team did move on from offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi and quarterbacks coach Shane Day.
But did those two moves completely remove the heating element from Staley’s coaching seat this offseason? According to CBS Sports’ Cody Benjamin, Staley’s backside should still feel a bit warm entering his third season as head coach. In a recent piece on eight NFL coaches who should be feeling the heat entering 2023, here’s what Benjamin had to say about Staley being among those included:
“Staley, 40, has kept Los Angeles competitive. But even with a lineup flush with all-stars, his teams have folded at the worst times, in dramatic fashion. His first year ended with quizzical time management in a Week 18 play-in defeat, and last year ended with a blown 27-0 playoff lead, the worst in team history. Without steady results from a talented defense, Staley’s now betting on Kellen Moore, his third offensive coordinator in as many years, to take star quarterback Justin Herbert over the hump.”
At the end of the day, the facts are the facts and that’s the worst part of Staley’s tenure so far. For all the positive, it’s tough for fans to overlook the negatives when they each of his first two seasons ended in excruciating fashion. Have their been some really exciting highs? Of course, and we should celebrate those as much as we loath the negatives. But the NFL is a business and it’s also a place where an undefeated regular season ultimately becomes meaningless if the whole year doesn’t end by hoisting up the Lombardi Trophy.
Realistically, what is the threshold Staley must surpass to keep his job past this season? Is it another playoff appearance? Is it at least one postseason victory? What about notching 11 or more regular season wins to improve from a year ago? It very well could be a combination of these things, but it’s safe to say it’s not going to be an easy road to travel for Staley and Co.
But what do you all think of Staley’s inclusion on this list? Do you believe he’s on the hot seat before the season even arrives? What are your personal expectations for the team this season and do you believe it’s possible for the Chargers to meet them? Let us know all of your thoughts below!