Brandon Staley addresses the Chargers’ future

Chargers coach Brandon Staley talks about new offensive coordinator and his vision for the 2023 season.

COSTA MESA, Calif. — Brandon Staley will be returning for his third season as the head coach of the Los Angeles Chargers. He had his end-of-the-year press conference to cover numerous topics like what happened in Jacksonville.

The press conference lasted 40 minutes, focusing on what he and his staff are looking for in a new offensive coordinator.

On Tuesday morning, the team announced that they had fired offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi and quarterback coach Shane Day.

“I felt like we needed to make changes to the offense,” Staley said. “The vision for the way that I have of us playing on that side of the football, I think that there is a different gear that we can get to as a football team.”

There is another gear to this offense, and that is when healthy, it is an above-average offense. It is missing some key elements, especially in today’s game. They failed to score a touchdown in the third quarter for ten straight weeks.

They were one of the worst teams running the football. The lack of offensive speed hurt them in the passing game and with their creativity. Also, injuries hurt their offense.

“The offenses that I think are the most challenging to defend, and the people who have been here with me, are the ones that put a lot of pressure on you every snap, in terms of marrying the run game to the pass game, putting a lot of pressure on you with personnel groupings, pace, motion, and being able to get the explosions consistently,” Staley said.

Staley could be looking for a veteran offensive coordinator like Frank Reich, who has been a head coach and play caller in the past. He could be looking for a new play caller whom he has coached with before, like Rams assistant head coach/tight end coach Thomas Brown.

He said they would be doing their homework. He and the organization know how important this decision is because this new offensive coordinator is supposed to take this offense and quarterback Justin Herbert to the next level.

It will be interesting to see what route the Staley and the Chargers will take when hiring a new offensive coordinator. Last season, Staley fired special teams coach Derius Swinton and hired Ryan Ficken. The special teams went from one of the worst to a top special teams unit.

Another big area of topic was the job status of Staley. The Chargers blew a 27-point lead against Jacksonville last weekend in the wild-card round. It was speculated outside the Chargers complex that Staley’s job could be on the line.

Did he think it was?

“No. I have a lot of confidence in the way that we’ve done things for two years,” Staley explained. “I have a lot of confidence in what I see on the football field, week in and week out. I know the type of improvements that we’ve been able to make, as a football team, since I’ve been here. I think that the way that we finished the season, the way that we finished down the stretch, shows you all of the things that we’re excited about moving forward.

“I know the culture that we have in our locker room, I know the quality of the product on the field, and I also know the capacity that we have to grow. We have all these things in place where we made tremendous improvement from Year 1 to Year 2. Now, from Year 2 to Year 3.”

The team has improved under Staley. They did win one more game than the previous year and went to the playoffs. The defense improved from last season, but the offense did regress which is why they made changes.

Could there be more changes to the staff?

“I would expect more changes, but the nature of those changes, I’m not positive,” Staley said.

One area Staley won’t budge on is who will call the plays on defense. He has been the signal caller for two seasons, and he was pretty adamant with his answer when asked if he has considered giving up play calling duties.

“No,” Staley said.

The Spanos family has decided that they believe in Staley’s vision. The players have stated they believe in Staley’s vision. Now he must repay their confidence by hiring a game-changing offensive coordinator and taking the next step in 2023.

“I have a lot of confidence in how we do things here and what we’ve been able to accomplish and that’s the truth,” said Staley. “Everybody that’s been around me on a day-to-day basis knows that. I am aware of the speculation, but I was not worried about that because I know what goes on here on a day-to-day basis. I know what we have in our locker room. I know what’s out on that field and I’m excited to keep going.”

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