Brandon Staley: I stand behind what we did in last week’s game

NFL: JAN 08 Chargers at Broncos
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Chargers head coach Brandon Staley has taken some significant criticism this week over the playing time he gave starters and key players in Los Angeles’ loss to Denver in the regular-season finale.

With Cincinnati up big on Baltimore at halftime and the Ravens playing rookie quarterback Anthony Brown, it was pretty clear the Chargers were going to be locked into the AFC’s No. 5 seed when inactives were due. But certainly by the 4:25 p.m. ET kickoff, Los Angeles knew its playoff seed would be the same irrespective of the Week 18 outcome.

Still, quarterback Justin Herbert wasn’t taken out until 11:15 in the fourth quarter. Receiver Keenan Allen caught a touchdown pass from Chase Daniel with 6:02 left in the game.

And that happened despite receiver Mike Williams exiting the game with a back injury after making a catch with 2:43 left in the second quarter.

While Staley said Monday that Williams was likely to practice during the week, the key receiver did not get on the practice field and is questionable for Saturday’s playoff matchup against the Chargers. On Friday, Staley noted that Williams’ rest was more important than the practice reps this week. And he expressed no regrets about his playing-time decisions from the loss to the Broncos.

I stand behind what we did in that football game,” Staley said, via Jeff Miller of the L.A. Times. “All my players are really important to me. There were a lot of players that were playing in that game that were in harm’s way. That’s just the nature of football.

“It’s very difficult to decide who plays and who doesn’t and who’s more valuable than the rest. What you’re trying to do is set a standard for your program about how you do things. That’s what I believe in. I didn’t want anybody to get hurt in that game, regardless of their status, because everybody’s important.”

Given that Staley said after the game that Williams “possibly” could have returned, he was asked to clarify that comment since Williams never practiced this week.

“The nature of it was I didn’t know how serious it was,” Staley said. “I wasn’t given the indication that anything was significantly wrong with him. That’s what was told to me. What I was intimating is that there wasn’t anything serious in terms of a fracture or some type of X-ray that was positive. That’s all I was inferring at that moment.”

Williams missed four games due to injury this season and played only six snaps in another game. One of Los Angeles’ top two receivers, Williams caught 63 passes for 895 yards with four touchdowns in 2022.

17 responses to “Brandon Staley: I stand behind what we did in last week’s game

  1. I just can’t stand this guy. He’s going to ruin Justin Herbert’s career, sooner or later.

  2. If the Spanos family was serious Staley should be the first HC fired going into the playoffs in history. Keeping key starters into the 4th quarter in a meaningless game and still losing. Is grounds to be fired.

  3. If the Chargers lose to the Jaguars Brandon Staley will be shown the door and in comes Sean Payton.

  4. Staley has not been good. He’s been saved because the team has enough talent to win games despite him. Herbert has regressed under his coaching and they have a bad habit of playing to the level of the opponent: They will play a good team close but then the very next week play close with a bad team.

  5. I really don’t think it was his call. Staley is too smart to make this type of mistake. He’s all into the sports science and the advantage an extra few days rest gives a football team is simply not to be ignored. It goes against every other single thing he’s stood for and done since he became coach.

  6. Good for him. If you want to be a snowflake join a bowling league. So would it be okay if the team doesn’t pay them their check for that day?

  7. Kingbags…what are you smoking? All of his game bone headed unanytical calls alone should get him canned.

  8. Get the feeling Sean is waiting around to see if this job opens next week, with arguably a top 5 QB with correct coaching, before he commits to a different team. Staley seems to try to think he is a genius by going contrarian to what actual coaches would do with decision making and how to get the best out of/ prepare/win games for the team, which he seems to fail over and over.

  9. Brandon checked the computer and Analytics told him it was OK to play crucial Starters in the game as only a couple would get hurt.
    He “cares about all players” so much he insists on playing them in a meaningless game they still lost! Last year the computer told him to go for it inside his own 40 vs. the Raiders which cost them a Playoff spot and now this. Spanos & GM need to admit their mistake in hiring this unqualified guy or Justin Herbert’s career will be in harms way; that is wasted!

  10. Chargers should have had a season that made people think they are a Super Bowl contender with the QB and talent that they have. I know they are in KCs division, but they aren’t in KCs class, at all, and they should be.

  11. Staley is clearly not a good head coach but he is a good defensive coordinator. The ideal scenario for me would be Staley gets fired and O’Connell makes him the DC in Minnesota.

  12. Without this clown Staley I would think the Chargers would be a clear favorite at Jax. Now, they are a weak 2 point favorite and I think Jacksonville makes more sense with Williams out. I really like Herbert but the coach of Jax, combined with theur running game and Lawrence makes me think take Jax and give them those points.

    And when Staley does something stupid, like defer the opening kickoff to let Jax run off the clock and establish tempo early and get the Chargers behind… or going for it on 4th and 7…remember where you read it first.

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