The Chargers on Monday announced they elevated Derrick Ansley to defensive coordinator after he spent the past two seasons as the secondary coach.
Having had success in both the college level and the NFL, Ansley will now get his first shot at coordinating the defense on the pro level.
Chargers Head Coach Brandon had high praise of Ansley at the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine, calling him "as good of a defensive coach" he's been around and "as good as a secondary coach" he's ever seen.
And at the Combine in Indianapolis, the Ansley hiring was also met with more praise, as NFL Network's Steve Wyche pointed out the importance of continuity and knowledge of the talent on the defensive side.
"Someone is going to carry over Brandon's scheme, someone who's familiar with the players and they know all the talent that they have so there is where continuity is important," Wyche said about the hire. "Especially if you're making changes across the leadership points of your coaching staff.
"I think Brandon saw that as important, and they hired somebody who can do a very, very good job, especially again, coordinating all that talent at three different level," Wyche added.
Take a look back at photos of the Chargers tackles and sacks from the 2022 season
Ansley's first two seasons with the Bolts saw the secondary put together consecutive strong seasons, including back-to-back Pro Bowl seasons for safety Derwin James, Jr., plus the development of cornerback Asante Samuel, Jr. and strong play from Michael Davis.
The 41-year-old coach spent many years working in the college ranks, including with two with Alabama, where he helped the Crimson Tide win a pair of national titles. SportsGrid COO Adam Caplan is familiar with people who worked with Ansley in college and likes this latest move by the Chargers.
"Smart guy, I know guys who worked with him at the college level," Kaplan said. "This is a really good move.
"They've got to get these guys healthy, but I like this move. Ansley is a good coach," Kaplan later added.
Ansley's third season with the Chargers will see his title change, but not the relationships. James also congratulated the Bolts new defensive coordinator on his new position, showing his appreciation for Ansley.
"He definitely is the leader," Ansley said in his introductory media session on Tuesday. "He's the heartbeat of our defense, of our secondary, even our team. He's the mentality that walks around the building, always in an upbeat spirit.
"For him to sign-off on that, it's a testament to our relationship," Ansley added. "We've had a great relationship since Day 1. I've known him for a while, going back to college. He's been the same guy every single day. That brought some excitement to me, seeing him do that."
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