Staley at the age of just 39 would be considered a bit of a gamble hire but potentially a candidate worth rolling the dice on.
in 2020 he oversaw the NFL’s #1 ranked defense, with the Rams being ranked first in a number of key statistics including fewest yards per game (281.9), fewest passing yards a game (190.7), 3rd best in rushing yards allowed per game (91.3) and 2nd in sacks generated (53).
Before joining the Rams for his one and only year of heading up a unit as defensive coordinator, he was part of Vic Fangio’s staff in both Denver and Chicago. Over the course of the two seasons in Chicago, the Bears would lead the NFL in sacks (92) and takeaways (58).
One thing you will say about Staley is he’s worked with outstanding talent throughout his NFL career, coaching Von Miller in Denver, Khalil Mack in Chicago (where he had a 12.5 sack season) and now Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey.
When you dig a little deeper into Brandon Staley, it’s hard not to be impressed. Known to have an impressive football brain that utilizes the strengths and limits the weaknesses of his players, his interview for the Rams DC position lasted 12 hours, mainly due to the fact that Staley and McVay just love talking football.
Four-time pro-bowler Jalen Ramsey had nothing but good things to say about his coach when talking to ESPN:
“He’s a great coach, one of the best coaches that I’ve ever had,” Ramsey said. “I feel like he’s a genius.”
I’d really recommend heading over to read the article on ESPN to get a deeper understanding of who Brandon Staley is and the qualities that could potentially make him an excellent head coach hire. This segment of the article stuck out to me:
Staley understood how to reach every player, which meant finding ways to relate and communicate with each individual, a trait that caused Dawson to smile this year when he heard Ramsey echo the same sentiment to reporters.
“That’s one of the special things he does,” Dawson said. “I was a super emotional player, I didn’t enjoy being talked to aggressively, so would always pull me to the side. ... [Other guys] had to be yelled at because that’s the only way they took coaching.”
I still think Staley is an outside candidate here, but I also imagine him being a very good interview at the same time.
It would be a mistake to believe that Staley is defense and defense alone. He was a two year QB starter at Dayton before switching his focus to the defensive side of the ball for his coaching. Throughout his coaching career, he’s worked with the defensive line (St Thomas), linebackers (Denver, Chicago, James Madison) and the secondary (John Carroll).
He’s worked his way up quickly and it seems inevitable that he will eventually become a head coach. With one year of coordinator experience, some may consider 2021 a bit too soon. It would be a very unusual hire for the Jets, but personally, I would 100% be on board, if you’re going to take a chance on a coach, I’d rather it was someone like Staley.