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Chargers Dismissed Head Coach Brandon Staley and GM Tom Telesco

Brandon Staley (Credits: NFL)

After enduring 2½ seasons marked by high expectations and frequent disappointments, the Los Angeles Chargers have announced the dismissal of head coach Brandon Staley and general manager Tom Telesco, the team confirmed on Friday.

Giff Smith, the Chargers’ outside linebackers coach, will step in as interim head coach, while JoJo Wooden, the team’s director of player personnel, assumes the interim general manager role.

Under Staley’s tenure, the Chargers posted a record of 24-24, securing one playoff appearance in 2022 that was marred by a historic collapse against the Jacksonville Jaguars, resulting in a 27-point blown lead, marking the third-largest comeback in playoff history.

Staley becomes only the second Chargers head coach since 1970 to be dismissed midseason, following Kevin Gilbride in 1998.

In a statement, team owner Dean Spanos acknowledged the difficulty of the decision but emphasized the need for a new direction to meet fan expectations.

“These decisions are never easy, nor are they something I take lightly — especially when you consider the number of people they impact,” Spanos said. “We are clearly not where we expect to be, however, and we need new vision.

Brandon Staley (Credits: NFL)

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.”

Staley was brought in due to his successful stint as the defensive coordinator with the Los Angeles Rams in 2020, where the Rams boasted the NFL’s top-ranked defense in both points and yards allowed per game.

However, Staley failed to replicate that success with the Chargers despite having a roster filled with star talent and former players from his Rams tenure.

The decision to dismiss Staley was precipitated by a demoralizing 63-21 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders on Thursday, where the Chargers struggled defensively against a Raiders team starting backup quarterback Aidan O’Connell and missing star running back Josh Jacobs.

The Chargers faced further adversity with quarterback Justin Herbert sidelined due to a fracture in his right index finger, paving the way for Easton Stick to make his first start against the Raiders following Herbert’s injury in last Sunday’s loss to the Denver Broncos.

Staley’s departure marks the second coaching change for the Chargers since drafting Herbert in 2020. Anthony Lynn, Herbert’s first head coach, amassed a 33-31 record from 2017 to 2020, culminating in a 7-9 finish in his final season.

In addition to Staley and Telesco, the Chargers also parted ways with Jay Rodgers, the team’s defensive run game coordinator and defensive line coach, as part of the organizational changes.

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