Sometimes soccer coaches can turn into so set in how “they do things” that their philosophy can negatively have an effect on the crew’s total manufacturing. That might be stated concerning the Los Angeles Chargers’ second-year head coach Brandon Staley. He believes in rolling the cube and going for it on fourth down. And isn’t shy about it.
“If we lose, we’re going to do it on our terms, not someone else’s terms,” Staley told The Athletic.
You’ve received to like the younger coach’s confidence, although his offensive aggressiveness is a bit shocking contemplating protection is his specialty. Staley was the Rams’ defensive coordinator in 2020 earlier than taking the Chargers job final season. He additionally spent three seasons as the skin linebackers coach for the Denver Broncos and Chicago Bears. Brandon’s faculty teaching stops had been on the defensive facet as nicely.
We hardly ever see a head coach within the NFL that got here up by the defensive ranks be this aggressive in his offensive scheme and mindset. Traditionally, defensive coaches have primarily gambled on fourth down once they wanted to. Only in particular conditions would going for a fourth down conversion even be dreamt of years in the past.
Two groups tried extra fourth downs final yr than the Chargers, however Los Angeles converted probably the most, going 22 for 34. LA additionally completed the season tied in fourth down conversion proportion with the New England Patriots, one other crew with a defensive-minded head coach. While this contradicts the whole lot of what the NFL has been on the sector for many years, it’s not out of the extraordinary anymore to see defensive coaches be much less conservative on offense.
Staley appears to be main that cost and isn’t apologetic about utilizing analytics. Even in confidence, Staley is humble sufficient to confess that it isn’t about himself however the crew. If going for a fourth-down conversion provides the Chargers a better win likelihood, then Staley might be taking that likelihood.
But at what level does it turn into predictable? Opposing defenses are additionally utilizing analytics and in search of an edge towards these fashionable offensive assaults. Staley’s Chargers went seven for seven on fourth downs to begin the ‘21 season. They closed the year by converting eight of their last nine fourth downs.
Sure, it worked, but so did the wildcat offense for Miami — for a season— until the rest of the NFL figured it out. And that’s the place sticking to your plan can come off as cussed. Some coaches fail to regulate when groups determine them out or just received’t. Teams didn’t know what to anticipate from Staley on offense his first yr. This season will certainly be totally different.
Having a younger star at quarterback like Justin Herbert helps lots, however even the most effective QBs have a crew or two that determine them out in some unspecified time in the future. Every protection they play this yr will probably be ready for quite a few fourth-down makes an attempt towards the Chargers.
Like many, I nonetheless imagine in taking factors once they’re accessible. I don’t thoughts going for fourth down, however Staley typically selected to cross on subject purpose makes an attempt in shut video games. Sometimes it seems like coaches outthink themselves with these choices. It’s okay to solely get three factors out of a drive.
With Staley’s gambler disposition, he might be on the recent seat after solely two seasons if these Chargers can’t make the postseason. No coach ever needs to be on the recent seat however particularly not when a reputation like Sean Payton is on the market lurking.
LA received 9 video games final season, and their division solely received more durable this offseason with the addition of Russell Wilson in Denver. All 4 groups within the AFC West have an above-average to nice QB scenario. Herbert, Wilson, Patrick Mahomes, and Derek Carr. The AFC West is the most effective QB division in soccer.
At least Chargers followers know what they’re getting with Staley. He’s agency in his perception in going for it on fourth down. This means you’ll miss out on some factors right here and there, though Staley takes duty and is prepared to reside with these choices. Staley says the Chargers will lose on their phrases. He might be in search of employment elsewhere if these phrases don’t land the Chargers within the playoffs this yr.