The Los Angeles Chargers shook up their offensive coaching staff this week, firing coordinator Joe Lombardi and quarterbacks coach Shane Day. However, general manager Tom Telesco told reporters that head coach Brandon Staley's job was never at stake.
"That was probably more your (media) discussion than ours," Telesco said Thursday, via the team's official transcript. "Our belief in Brandon hasn't changed. He has our belief, our players believe in him. You've been around him, he's a tremendous leader, he's detail-oriented and he's a fighter. That's the type of person that I want to be with me going to competition. I understand that the season didn't end quite the way we liked it, but he has our whole support."
The Chargers made their first postseason appearance since 2018, finishing 10-7 in the regular season. But how L.A. finished the campaign brought heat on Staley. First came his handling of Week 18, playing starters deep into a meaningless game, wherein receiver Mike Williams injured his back. Then, in the Wild Card Round, Staley's club blew a 27-0 lead, losing 31-30 to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
"Disappointing end to the season, obviously, losing in the playoffs. 10-7 going into the playoffs, feeling pretty good that we can make a run," Telesco said. "To lose in the opening week -- any playoff loss is painful, but losing in the first round is difficult. Then, the manner in which we lost, just stings a little bit more. The only thing worse than a loss is when you have that feeling that you let people down. We have around 200 people in this organization, football and non-football, and we're all representing them on the field. We just didn't play our best when the best was needed, especially in the second half.
"Our fan base, they're dying for a championship, just like we are, so you have that little feeling of letting people down. I will say this, our current team of players and our coaches, they are really mentally tough people, and that's not by accident, that's intentional. Those are the type of people that we bring in here. It's important to us because you have to be able to withstand these types of situations, especially leading into an offseason. That's what we're going to work on this offseason. We're going to lick our wounds a little bit here, and then rise and fight again. We have a whole offseason to figure out how we're going to do that."
Revamping the offensive staff gives the Chargers a fresh start in 2023 to rebuild an offense that can take advantage of quarterback Justin Herbert's talent. However, if next season ends in a similar fashion, the heat will truly be on Staley and Telesco.