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The Chargers also fired general manger Tom Telesco with the team now holding a 5-9 record this season. Replacements were not immediately announced.
Staley was in his third season as Chargers head coach. The 41-year-old was 19-15 in his first two seasons and reached the playoffs last season before this year’s decline.
He was hired after one season as defensive coordinator for the Los Angeles Rams. That 2020 season was only his fourth of NFL experience, which made him one of the young rising stars in the league’s coaching ranks.
It did not work out with the Chargers, however. They famously blew a 27-0 lead to the Jacksonville Jaguars before losing 31-30 in the playoffs last season, and things continued to go downhill in this campaign.
Under Staley, the Chargers became notorious for losing close games, sometimes in unexpected ways that has become mockingly known as “Chargering.”
Owner Dean Spanos released a statement explaining his decision and mentioned that propensity for failure in tight contests.
“I want to thank Tom and Brandon for their hard work, dedication and professionalism, and wish both them and their great families nothing but the best,” said Spanos. “These decisions are never easy, nor are they something I take lightly — especially when you consider the number of people they impact. We are clearly not where we expect to be, however, and we need new vision. Doing nothing in the name of continuity was not a risk I was willing to take. Our fans have stood strong through so many ups and downs and close games. They deserve more. Frankly, they’ve earned more. Building and maintaining a championship-caliber program remains our ultimate goal. And reimagining how we achieve that goal begins today.”
Much more was expected from the Chargers this season with a roster led on offense by star quarterback Justin Herbert, running back Austin Ekeler and wide receivers Keenan Allen and Mike Williams and on defense by pass rushers Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack and safety Derwin James Jr.
Bu they have lost five of their past six games and are without Herbert for the rest of the season because of a fractured finger on his throwing hand. It was the latest injury for the 25-year-old, who had been playing with a fractured finger on his left hand.
He was out for the game Thursday, as were Allen and Williams. But that is not an excuse for them falling behind 42-0 in the first half and 49-0 early in the third quarter on Thursday against a heated AFC West rival.
The Chargers are one of the few NFL teams that have never won a Super Bowl, and they will now try to accomplish that elusive feat with another new head coach.