Staley to give Chargers bolt on the sideline
August 26, 2021
At first glance, Chargers coach Brandon Staley seems unassuming. He easily could be mistaken for a staff member of the communications department, an assistant, or someone loosely affiliated with the team. Yet, what cannot be misconstrued is Staley's meteoric rise from a Division III graduate assistant to the head coach of an NFL contender.
Staley exudes confidence but he is not overconfident. Instead, he carries himself with the quiet, excogitative assurance of a sensei who knows that any moment he can exploit the faint weakness of a wayward pupil.
He is a master communicator, able to break down the game's finer points in the simplest of terms. In addition, his youthful exuberance connects with his players. He brings enthusiasm and confidence to the facility that players relate to. Like a black hole of positivity, Staley's aura draws you in.
"What I love about, probably the most about him is you can tell by the way he talks, by the way he coaches, by the way he talks to guys, that he loves football," Chargers outside linebacker Kyler Fackrell said when talking about his head coach. "He's never dragging when he comes into the building. He's all about it all the time."
It is easy to see why Jalen Ramsey praised Staley as "the best defensive coordinator that I've had for sure in the NFL." Likewise, Derwin James is excited to share the success that his Florida State teammate (Ramsey) shared. James immediately realized his good friend Ramsey was right about Staley when he and Staley had their first conversation during Staley's tour of the Chargers' facility.
"Everything that I've heard, and everybody I've met through this game, had nothing but great things to say about (Staley)," said James. "Our first talk on his first day here, the day he signed with the Chargers, I remember him just bringing me up here and wanting me to be a part of his moment. For me, it's just relationships. Everything that's been said has been spot on."
It's evident how easily Staley connects with his players by listening to how he discusses their game. For example, he radiated when talking about the growth of Asante Samuel Jr.; when talking about the impact of Chris Harris, he is reflective. His intellect has made lasting impressions at every stop.
Chargers defensive backs coach Derrick Ansley first worked with Staley at the University of Tennessee while Staley was a graduate assistant. According to Ansley, Staley hasn't changed. "He always came off very humble, very eager to learn and asked a lot of good questions," Ansley stated. "You could tell at that age that he was going to go on to bigger and better things. He was always impressive from Day 1. He hasn't changed one bit."
The Chargers will go as far as Staley can lead them. They have the foundational pieces to thrive. But, with Staley, the Chargers hope to have caught lightning in a bottle.
This Saturday the Chargers travel to Seattle to take on the Seahawks at 7 p.m. and they open the regular season on the road against the Washington Football team on Sunday, September 12, at 1 p.m. Their home opener at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood is Sunday, September 19, against the Dallas Cowboys at 1:25 p.m.
Follow Eric on Twitter @elambsquared or IG @elamb5quared.