Former linebacker Sam Acho shared his unique insight into what fans can expect from new head coach Brandon Staley on Wednesday's episode of “Chargers Weekly.”
Acho played nine NFL seasons, including two years with Staley, now 38, when he was the outside linebackers coach for the Chicago Bears from 2017-18. Highlights from the conversation are below.
On Staley's NFL Rise (16:20 mark)
"Well, I actually expected the rise to come faster. And here's why I say that: The NFL is very archaic in a lot of ways. People just do things the way that they've always been done. It's how it is, it's just the way it is. And Coach Staley immediately came in and started changing things – and not in a way that was overly disruptive to his superiors. He still respected Vic (Fangio) and respected the head coach. He still respected people, but he started just bringing a new kind of energy to our meeting rooms; bringing a new kind of energy to the team meeting; bringing a new kind of energy to the practice field and also on game day.
"And so, I expected a quicker rise."
On Staley's Intelligence (17:50 mark)
"He's actually the smartest dude in the room. I believe he has a genius IQ – you're gonna have to ask him on that. I know he has a photographic memory, he's not gonna tell people about that either. He's brilliant. He's brilliant, and I don't use that just as a word to throw around. He actually is brilliant. He could have gone and done anything he wanted to do. … He could have been in any field he wanted to be, but his passion was football."
What Staley Will Bring to Quarterback Justin Herbert (19:03 mark)
"He is an offensive-minded coach. Yes, he's been coordinating defense in the NFL, but he played quarterback. He's a quarterback. And so, even as a linebacker, his first year in the NFL, I'm sitting here like, 'Why is this quarterback coaching defense?' That was my mindset. And so, now it's funny how the roles have reversed. People are saying, 'Why is this defensive coach coaching a quarterback?' But, no, no, no, no – he has the best of both worlds. He's a quarterback. He has the offensive mindset, but he has the experience on the defense as well. And so, as he coaches defensive players, he actually coaches us from a quarterback's perspective, from a quarterback's vision."
Listen to the full interview with Acho on "Chargers Weekly." "Good Morning Football" co-host and Fox Sports' Peter Schrager also joined the podcast to discuss Staley, as well as Herbert's record-setting rookie season.
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