1. Brandon Staley – Los Angeles Chargers
Brandon Staley’s success, or lack thereof, is tied to Justin Herbert. And no, it doesn’t have anything to do with passing stats. It’s all about wins and losses. Staley was part of the youth movement that saw NFL teams hiring a bunch of coaches under 40. In the Chargers’ case, Staley came from the defensive side of the ball, being the head of the L.A. Rams. In his short tenure, Staley improved every year, but there are some massive questions about his ability to close. It all started in 2022 when the Chargers had a chance to make the playoffs.
Who can forget the game against the Raiders in a “win or go home” final regular-season game? Staley made a bold, some say stupid, decision to call a timeout with only 38 seconds left in the overtime period, with the Raiders at the Chargers’ 39-yard line.
Last season, the Chargers went crazy in free agency, winning the offseason. Staley led the team to a 10-7 record and a playoff berth. They were looking primed for victory in Staley’s first playoff appearance as a head coach. Up 27-0 in a playoff game against the Jaguars, Staley, and the Chargers folded yet again.
Like any team that fails, there had to be a scapegoat. Joe Lombardi got axed in favor of Kellen Moore. So, the pressure is now on for Staley to succeed, especially with a hot HC candidate like Moore behind him. Besides, the media was reporting Staley’s demise during the Sean Peyton sweepstakes.