Chargers coach Brandon Staley gained a reputation as perhaps the most analytics-driven coach in the NFL during the 2021 season, and when the Chargers fell short of the playoffs, Staley’s approach drew plenty of criticism. But Chargers General Manager Tom Telesco is completely on board with Staley’s approach.
“I support him 100 percent,” Telesco said of Staley. “I’m a big believer in using data to make decisions, as is he. It doesn’t mean that there isn’t context involved in that — I mean, we’re not robots — but we’re trying to put our players in a position of strength, in a position of advantage, as much as we can. I love the identity that we play with. I know, on the outside, that not everyone may agree with how we play, but it’s who we are and I love it. That’s what we are and that’s the way that we’re going to play moving forward. You know what you get with us; we’re going to play aggressive — it’s not reckless, I really don’t see it as reckless. All of these decisions, even though they’re made in real-time, there’s research involved in it prior to the game. There’s also context involved in that, too. Like I said, Brandon is not a robot, but with decisions on the field, you have to make quick, quick decisions in real-time. I thought that he did a really excellent job with that this year. He has my support behind that.”
Telesco also said Staley is building his relationships with his players in a way that should bear fruit for years to come.
“He handled things very well this year,” Telesco said. “It’s great working with them. We have a great working relationship. I think you guys can tell, too, he really has a great connection with our team and with our players. I think you saw that on a daily basis. He has definitely brought an identity to this football team, which is step number one as you come in as a new head coach. I think that the future’s bright with where we are.”
Telesco has now completed nine seasons as the Chargers’ GM, and Staley is the third head coach during that time. Telesco says he’s not thinking about his job security, but he needs Staley to succeed, as if the Chargers need to make big changes, Telesco likely wouldn’t get the chance to stick around to work with a fourth head coach.