LAS VEGAS — After the 63-21 thrashing at the hands of the Las Vegas Raiders, the Los Angeles Chargers announced on Friday morning that they had parted ways with head coach Brandon Staley and general manager Tom Telesco.
That was the point of no return.
Chargers owner Dean Spanos put out a statement after the announcement saying, “I want to thank Tom and Brandon for their hard work, dedication and professionalism, and wish both them and their great families nothing but the best,” said Chargers owner Dean Spanos. “These decisions are never easy, nor are they something I take lightly — especially when you consider the number of people they impact. We are clearly not where we expect to be, however, and we need new vision. Doing nothing in the name of continuity was not a risk I was willing to take. Our fans have stood strong through so many ups and downs and close games. They deserve more. Frankly, they’ve earned more. Building and maintaining a championship-caliber program remains our ultimate goal. And reimagining how we achieve that goal begins today.”
The key from the statement was, “We are clearly not where we expect to be, however, and we need new vision. “”
The first part of the statement was that the Chargers offense was expected to be a juggernaut with the addition of offensive coordinator Kellen Moore.
The defense was expected to take the next step in year three under Staley.
They regressed in both areas. That is why this team is 5-9.
On Staley’s side of things, he finishes with a 24-24 record while making the playoffs once. It was a historic loss against the Jacksonville Jaguars in which they blew a 27-0 lead.
The defense this season was one of the worst in the NFL against the pass and couldn’t quite put it together.
Thursday night’s loss was the last thing Spanos needed to see before making his decision. He couldn’t let this continue.
On Telesco’s side, he had a record of 84-92 as the team’s general manager, with a playoff record of 2-3.
The most surprising stat is that he never won the AFC West during his 11-year tenure with the Chargers.
He did draft players like quarterback Justin Herbert, receiver Keenan Allen, left tackle Rashawn Staler, safety Derwin James, and others, but there have been various failures.
His staff found running back Austin Ekeler as an undrafted free agent who led the NFL in touchdowns in 2021 and 2022.
Telesco was of the mindset of drafting players, developing them, and paying them. He was on the conservative side when it came to free agency.
The team did make a splash in 2022 when they traded for edge rusher Khalil Mack, and paid cornerback J.C. Jackson.
Those two moves went in completely different directions with Mack being the sack leader of the NFL this season while Jackson was a headache that was traded back to New England after a season and four games.
The 2023 Chargers roster was top-heavy with Herbert, Allen, Mack and others, but there was no depth.
The team announced they will name an interim general manager and head coach shortly.
This was a much-needed move for a franchise searching for a new head coach and general manager.
Herbert makes this job desirable, but the question will be whether Spanos and his family can or will pay for a top-tier head coach.
There are still three games left in the season, and then the Spanos family will begin their search. They need leaders who can take Herbert and this team to new heights.