nfl

Staley to continue calling defense: ‘We believe in the guys that we’re playing’

After 41 points were scored on his defense Brandon Staley will not shake things up.

COSTA MESA, Calif. — There will be no shake-ups for the Chargers’ defense after giving up 41 points in a loss to the Detroit Lions last Sunday.

Head coach Brandon Staley was asked on Wednesday afternoon if he would continue calling the defense.

“Yes,” he answered.

When teams are struggling, sometimes head coaches give up play-calling duties or take them back, as seen in Carolina with Frank Reich taking back the offensive play-calling duties.

“I think if you feel like it gives you the best chance to win, or you think that it could spark your team or something, people do that,” Staley said. “But we don’t feel like that’s the direction that we’re going to take.”

Last Sunday was just the same mistakes we have seen from the defense this season. They are second-to-last in total yards given up a game (393.2), worst in the NFL by almost 30 yards on passing yards allowed (291.2), and have fallen to 12th in rushing yards allowed with 102 per game.

They allowed a combined 193 rushing yards and three touchdowns to Lions running backs David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs. While also failing to slow down Amon-Ra St. Brown, who had eight catches for 156 yards and a touchdown.

He scored on a 20-yard screen pass with no cornerback in front of him and went untouched into the end zone.

“The more we look at it, it was on us,” Chargers safety Derwin James explained. “A lot of that stuff was just stuff that we could have done better communication-wise. Especially on the back end, communication. Just getting guys on the ground. Missed tackles. Just cleaning that stuff up, and we’ll be good.”

James and Staley both said they need to learn from the mistakes made against the Lions. They gave up numerous explosive plays like they have this season.

The defense has been torched by Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, Justin Jefferson, CeeDee Lamb, and St. Brown.

“Anyone that has pride — like you said, my name is on it,” James said. “Everyone’s name is on it. I don’t like the way it feels. Like I said, we’ll get another opportunity this Sunday to change that. That’s what we’re looking forward to.”

James is the leader of the defense and knows they have the talent to limit the big-time plays and give their offense a chance to win, especially after they score five straight touchdowns.

He has been vocal in his support of his head coach and defensive play caller all season. After Sunday’s loss, he was asked about it again.

“Hell yeah, “James said. “I believe in him. We believe in him.”

The Chargers will face Green Bay this Sunday against a Packers team that is starting off the Jordan Love era underperforming. They are 3-6 and have been hit with the injury bug.

“They have really good runners,” Staley explained. “33 [Packers RB Aaron Jones] and 28 [Packers RB AJ Dillon] are a really, really quality tandem. I’ve played against them before. They do a really good job in the run game. I think that they’re really well-coached up front.”

Expect Packers head coach Matt LaFleur to thoroughly watch their division rival’s offense against the Chargers defense.

To disrupt the Packers, the pass rush of Joey Bosa, Khalil Mack, and Tuli Tuipulotu must get to Love. He has thrown ten interceptions so far this season.

The defense must turn things around for the Chargers to have a chance at 4-5 to make the playoffs.

“We believe in how we play, and we believe in the guys that we’re playing with,” Staley said. “You’re going to make adjustments throughout the year, but nothing significant.”