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Why Rams must avoid Brandon Staley reunion after being fired by Chargers

If Raheem Morris leaves, Brandon Staley absolutely cannot replace him

Los Angeles Chargers v Las Vegas Raiders Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Chargers have officially fired head coach Brandon Staley following their 63-21 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders on Thursday Night Football. He will be immediately connected to the team he was with prior to the Chargers, that being the L.A. Rams, but Sean McVay reuniting with his former defensive coordinator would be a bad move.

The Chargers hired Staley following a stint as the Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator in 2020 when he led the NFL’s number one ranked defense in his first season. Once Staley left, the job was filled by Raheem Morris who has done remarkable work this season given the cards he was dealt. There’s a strong chance Morris earns another head coaching job in the offseason. Replacing him will be tricky as the Rams absolutely cannot reunite with Staley.

To quote Dr. Evil from the iconic 2002 film, “Goldmember”, “How about no!

If Sean McVay is smart and was paying attention to his former DC coaching the other LA team, he’ll resist the temptation. You never get back with your ex McVay, even if they left on good terms. No matter how great a reunion sounds, you just gotta delete their number and prevent them from sliding back in or you’ll regret it in the morning.

The Chargers are feeling awfully embarrassed after their primetime debacle. Las Vegas didn’t score a single point in a 3-0 barnburner against the Vikings in Week 14. Per NFL Network analyst Rich Eisen, the Raiders’ 42 points before halftime are the most first half points scored by a team coming off a shutout.

Things were going so poorly for the Chargers that Richard Sherman suggested Staley should’ve been fired at halftime.

Again, the Raiders were shut out LAST WEEK and the Chargers allowed the most points they’ve ever given up in their 64-year history.

Rookie quarterback Aidan O’Connell threw four touchdown passes against Staley’s defense. Keep in mind that O’Connell had never thrown more than one touchdown pass in any of his seven appearances prior to TNF. The Chargers made him look like prime Tom Brady underneath the primetime lights.

Staley has been an utter failure in Los Angeles given he’s had no shortage of talent and resources at his disposal.

The Chargers had the fifth-most cap dollars this season allocated to the defense. They ranked fourth in 2022 and sixth in Staley’s first season.

Despite spending so much on the defensive side of the ball with players that featured Khalil Mack, Derwin James, Asante Samuel Jr., Chris Harris Jr., etc, they consistently underachieved. According to ESPN, the Chargers are ranked 29th in points per game (24.8) and 28th in yards per game (359.6) this season. Los Angeles has given up an average of 24.9 points per game in those 49 contests under Staley.

The Chargers rank 28th in defense EPA this season. They ranked 19th last year and 24th in 2021. It’s a similar result in DVOA where the Chargers rank 27th this year and finished 21st and 26th in the two years prior.

All that talent wasted as the team has gone 24-25 over his 49 games as head coach including the playoffs. I don’t think I need to remind anyone about the historic blown 27-0 halftime lead in last year’s Wild Card Round against the Jaguars. Quite a fall from grace for the Rams’ former defensive coordinator.

For as much as it’s said that Morris won a Super Bowl with an extremely talented defense, the same can be said about Staley taking the Rams to the top-ranked unit the year before. Staley had Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey to go along with Michael Brockers, John Johnson III, and Darious Williams in a career year. Morris had Donald and Ramsey as well, but the Rams lost Johnson and Brockers. Williams also didn’t have a single interception after tallying four in 2020. Johnson III was replaced with Nick Scott and Eric Weddle infamously made a return for the playoffs.

Staley presumably will never get another head coaching offer in the NFL after this disaster class. Well, never say never as fellow wunderkind Adam Gase got a second head coaching job after being fired by the Dolphins. His second chance with the Jets didn’t um, go well and Gase hasn’t been on an NFL sideline since.

Perhaps that fate will await Brandon Staley now that the Chargers have canned him. The Rams must avoid a reunion by any means necessary. Staley deserves a return to Division III instead of coaching McVay’s young and promising defense. Remember Sean, never EVER get back together with your ex. Resist the temptation and I promise you won’t regret it!