The Los Angeles Chargers lost a very winnable game yet again on Sunday and Brandon Staley is taking most of the blame for it. Which is, in many ways, how it should be. Everything good and bad ultimately falls on Staley's shoulders as the head honcho and as an allegedly defense-first coach the failings on that side of the ball are more glaring. This week's 23-20 loss to the Green Bay Packers will be held against Staley in the same way all the other losses were, even if this defeat is arguably the one he's least responsible for due to the sheer number of critical drops and injuries that occurred over the course of the contest.
Rex Ryan does not care about that sort of splitting hairs and went after Staley on Get Up this morning, saying he needs to go back to coaching D-III football where he belongs (starting at the 2:46 mark).
For those who were also curious, this burn didn't come out of nowhere. Staley actually did coach Division III football early in his career, working with defensive linemen and special teams at St. Thomas (Minnesota) in 2009. So it's a pretty personal and cutting thing to say on television.
It seems Ryan's ire stems more from the way Staley handled his postgame press conference than anything. Staley ripped into a reporter who asked if he'd still be calling the defensive plays going forward, a question he'd been asked a few times over the last month as the Chargers continue to falter on that side of the ball. Usually coaches who aren't named Bill Belichick and get that mad after a loss while talking to the media are not long for their jobs.
In fairness to Staley the way we're talking about his Chargers you'd think they would be on the fast track to a top-five pick in the draft come April. Instead they are merely 4-6. Should their record be better, and potentially much better? For sure. Are the mistakes made weekly a reflection of Staley's coaching? For the most part. Is all this viewed under a far more intense microscope because Staley blew a 27-point lead in the playoffs last year? Certainly.
But it could be worse. Ryan is going a little hard on the guy because everybody is going to pick on Staley this week. He's not going to find many defenders in the sports media realm. It's fair to believe he doesn't deserve defenders at this point, but it's also fair to think the noise is getting a bit loud relative to the Chargers' standing.