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The "Why" Behind Brandon Staley's Coaching Philosophy


With the regular season essentially here, Brandon Staley is days away from embarking on his first season as head coach of the Los Angeles Chargers.

Teaching is something that's been instilled in Staley since he was young. It was in his introductory press conference where he discussed being "the son of a teacher and a coach," adding, "I grew up and saw the impact that you can have when you listen and invest in people, and it has never left me."

So now with the 2021 season on the horizon, Staley is excited about the "listening and investing" he's done with the Chargers so far, but elaborated as to why his teaching and coaching philosophy focuses on the "why."

"If I give you a piece of paper and I tell you what to do, it will never mean as much as if I were to show you how to do it first and why we're doing it," Staley said. "What I like to do is give life to what's on paper or what's on the screen so that I can create the buy-in, I can create the investment from the player, the coach, whomever — I want to show them exactly what we're doing, why we're doing it and when we're doing it. And, draw from a lot of inventory to paint a picture for somebody. By doing that in a general way first, I think that you create more buy-in. Then, what that allows you to do is get to the specifics quicker.

"There are a lot of specifics in the NFL that are really challenging; the adjustments that we have to make are really tough … In order for them to be able to go as far as you want them to go, which is a long way, they have to know that it's going to work. They have to know that it's going to work and that's what I try to do at the front end. At the front end, show them philosophically why we do what we do. Then, when we dive into the deep chapters and into the specifics, then they'll be able to go with you full-speed because they know why it's important."

"He wants us to be students of the game rather than just football players," Linval Joseph said.

But along with the "why" comes player ownership and input. Staley wants his players to feel as comfortable as possible with what they're running, so asking for their input on what they think works best is key to on field success.

"I've experienced it, but not to this level," Joseph mentioned. "This is the best it's been explained. It keeps you more involved and it makes you love what you're doing versus just doing it. It's bringing the team together, by the way he's doing it."

But this philosophy also applies to schemes. It's a reason why, according to Staley, Corey Linsley has helped by providing input on the other side of the ball.

"What he's been able to do is help us, defensively, organize our defense and structure our defense," Staley said. "That's what I told you guys about becoming a team of teams, where we can really benefit from learning about this guy and what their plan of attack was against us. Then, maybe shaping some things defensively as a byproduct of that. He's been able to help me a lot with that with all of the experiences that he's had. I've really enjoyed teaming up with him."

Check out the best photos from Wednesday's regular season practice at Hoag Performance Center.

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