Chargers flip to Rams DC Staley as the brand new coach


10:33 PM ET

Lindsey ThiryESPN

Close Covered Rams for two years for the Los Angeles Times
Previously covered the falcon
Has covered the NBA and college football and basketball

COSTA MESA, California – The Los Angeles Chargers have agreed with Brandon Staley to be their next head coach, the team announced on Sunday evening.

It will be officially presented at a press conference on Thursday.

Staley served as the Los Angeles Rams' defensive coordinator last season, developing senior defense in the NFL behind star defensive tackle Aaron Donald and cornerback Jalen Ramsey.

Staley's unit brought the Rams to a 6-6 season and wild card playoff win over the Seattle Seahawks before the team exited the postseason in a loss to the Green Bay Packers on Saturday. In his first year as the NFL coordinator, Staley's defense was ranked # 1 for efficiency, yards allowed per game, and points allowed per game.

With the Chargers, Staley replaces coach Anthony Lynn, who was sacked after four seasons and a 33-31 record.

The Chargers have had a 7-9 season that resulted in a third place in AFC West.

However, Staley inherits a roster that spans several cornerstones, including rookie quarterback Justin Herbert, who became the youngest quarterback in NFL history to throw 30 touchdown passes in a single season. Staley also takes on a defensive unit that includes Pro Bowl defensive end Joey Bosa and all-pro safety derwin James.

"It's hard to put into words how excited I am to be the head coach of the Los Angeles Chargers," Staley said in a statement. "While this is certainly a dream come true, it's also a dream that is just beginning. There's a reason this has been probably the most coveted job out there – from the ownership, to the fans, the city to the men in this one Locker room – it's the whole package. "

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The 38-year-old Staley has quickly made his mark in the NFL since he was first hired as a positional coach with the Chicago Bears in 2017. He spent two seasons in Chicago under defensive coordinator Vic Fangio before following Fangio to the Denver Broncos, where he spent a season as an external linebacker coach before joining the Rams.

Staley is the third assistant to Rams coach Sean McVay to get a job as NFL head coach. He joins Matt LaFleur from Green Bay and Zac Taylor from Cincinnati.

"I think every time this kind of situation comes up, it's one of the most gratifying things," McVay said during his season-end press conference on Sunday. "It's also really unique to see him and do such a great job. Then being a prime candidate for a lot of these openings right away and you realize how valuable these opportunities are."

Ramsey told ESPN that he had contacted James about Staley's attitude and that James was very "excited" about his new coach. Ramsey has been an advocate of Staley & # 39; s throughout the coach's season with the Rams.

"He would make a lot of organizations happy because he's a great guy. He's about ball but at the same time he's a player-coach and I love that about him and I hope he's here for a while," Ramsey said last Month. "But I wouldn't be at all surprised if this is a one-off. I would be happy for him."

Prior to coaching the NFL, Staley trained three seasons at John Carroll University, a Division III college in University Heights, Ohio, and spent one season as a defensive coordinator at James Madison University.

"His coaching journey at this particular moment is inspiring. If not because of the perseverance and determination, it is certainly because of the dramatic results it has achieved for the teams and players he has coached," said John Spanos, Chargers' president for football operations . "I know it's a cliché, but I know that Brandon literally can't wait to get to work."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


Melinda Martin