With the Super Bowl now in the books, the offseason is officially here and so too is the official 2021 coaching staff of the Los Angeles Chargers.
With the announcement of the staff on Thursday, head coach Brandon Staley met with the media to discuss the new additions, his goals for the group, and more.
On Staff Being at the "Cutting Edge"
Staley called the hiring process of his coaches "challenging" and "competitive." But also added it was collaborative. Having coaches with diverse backgrounds whether that be in football or life was important to Staley as was the "character and capacity" of the coaches he hired.
All of that blends into a medley of ideas and also lends itself to innovation in all facets of coaching.
"It's been a competitive process, but I think we've done it the right way and I think it's reflected in the diversity of the staff. It was designed that way. You can't take this as far as you can take it with one way of thinking. That's not gonna happen. We want to be at the cutting edge of a lot of things; how you teach, how you lead, how you scheme, how you evaluate. We've wanted that competition of ideas and the only way to get that is if you have a diverse background with your staff and I think we've been able to accomplish that."
On the Offensive Coaching Staff
Justin Herbert put up big numbers in his Offensive Rookie of the Year campaign in 2020, but Staley mentioned the goal is to take the entire offensive unit to new heights this coming season.
"Our goal was to provide Justin and all these players on offense … We wanted to provide them with a coaching staff that was at the cutting edge of pro football. Guys that come from some of the premier offenses in the league that have a shared vision of how we want to play, and that can bring a variety of backgrounds both from the pro game and the college game to combine forces and to really create something unique. And I think that was our goal. Our mission statement is to really take this offense to something new. And I think we've really been able to do that."
On Defensive Scheme Differences
While everyone looks to offensive weapons, Staley also said a secret weapon for a quarterback may be his defense. A great defense is one "that plays complementary football where the pressure isn't on that guy to score and outscore you every single game," according to the head coach.
While there's been a lot of talk about the defensive scheme the Bolts will run, Staley laid it out, but said to think of it a little more broadly.
"For fans out there, outside linebackers are really edge players. Those guys are edge defenders. Inside linebackers, they're behind the football. So whether you're playing like a 3-4 structure in base, which we don't play very much … That grouping, we play like 20 or less percent of the time. Most of the NFL is three wide receivers and most of the time you're in five DB groupings. So, if you're in a five DB orchestration, those edge players become defensive ends. And your defensive ends in the 3-4 base would become defensive tackles.
"You really gotta break it down to inside players and edge players. And then you have a bunch of DBs that kind of do a lot of jobs and then inside linebackers play behind the ball. So, 3-4 to me is a way your personnel is organized. But how that expresses itself on game day, what you actually activate, it's probably not gonna look like 3-4 at all … How you activate it is gonna change week to week and season to season."
Core Traits of New Coaches
We mentioned up top about Staley's penchant for hiring coaches with "character and capacity," but he elaborated on other traits key to those on his staff.
"That means everything to me because I think if you have those two things, you can take things a long way. I think (if you have) one without the other, eventually you're going to get exposed and so, it really starts with character and capacity. And then, when you get into specifics, your ability to teach (and) lead, those things really matter. And your ability to build relationships and being an expert in your field … We wanted people who embodied that."
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