The first official interest in LA Rams defensive coordinator Brandon Staley might now be known. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the New York Jets have requested permission to interview Staley for their open head coaching position. The Jets went 2-14 last season under Adam Gase, who was fired following their Week 17 loss on Sunday.
As per NFL rules, Staley can’t take the interview this week because the Rams are in the playoffs and have a game on Saturday.
Jets requested permission to interview Rams' DC Brandon Staley for their HC job, per source. Rams have playoff game Saturday, so his interview is not allow to occur before then.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 4, 2021
Staley was hired as the replacement for Wade Phillips in 2020 with a fantastic complement of defensive talent at his disposal. Working with Aaron Donald, Jalen Ramsey and John Johnson, among many other key starters, Staley helped guide Los Angeles to a number one ranking in points and yards allowed this season. The Rams had been 17th and 13th in those categories, respectively, in 2019 under Phillips.
Los Angeles posted 53 sacks this season, as compared to 50 last season, so there wasn’t much of a change in that respect.
Though some will point to the Jets as a “good” situation because they have the number two pick and either a project or a trade chip in Sam Darnold, I can’t imagine that Staley’s ideal first head coaching job would be to take over a team that’s in as bad of shape as New York is. They had the NFL’s worst offense in 2020 and the defense wasn’t that much better.
This is also how I will feel about the jobs with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Detroit Lions. Setting aside “good draft picks” unproven players who were recently “good draft picks,” some head coaching positions feel like jobs while others feel like careers.
I believe that Staley has coached the Rams well enough to not feel like this current hiring cycle will be his only opportunity. Consider that he’s up against candidates like Kansas City offensive coordinator Eric Bienemy and San Francisco defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, both of whom might be one or two years behind when they were considered “rising stars” of the coaching ranks, would it be bad for Staley to wait to consider his options in 2022 if he doesn’t like the offers he receive this month?
The Jets may want Brandon Staley. Does Brandon Staley want the Jets?