Brandon Staley says Jalen Ramsey is ‘one of the biggest reasons’ for him getting Chargers job

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Cameron DaSilva
·3 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

When Brandon Staley was hired by the Los Angeles Rams as their defensive coordinator last year, his job was immediately made easier by the fact that he had Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey on the same side of the ball. No defensive coach had two players of Donald and Ramsey’s caliber, giving Staley an elite pass rusher and lockdown corner to work with.

While Donald’s dominance was obviously very apparent, Staley credits Ramsey for being one of the biggest reasons he got the opportunity to become head coach of the Chargers. It wasn’t just Ramsey’s play on the field, either.

Staley and Ramsey immediately connected after Sean McVay hired Staley, chatting not only about football over FaceTime, but also about life. The two got to know each other right away in an unprecedented virtual offseason and Staley carried over what he learned from that experience with Ramsey to his new job with the Chargers.

“I will remember it always, because Jalen is a big reason why I got this opportunity,” Staley told Albert Breer of the MMQB. “I mean, he’s one of the biggest reasons. He means so much to me. I remember that experience really shaping me. So when I came here to the Chargers, talking to my coaches, I shared that with them, because if this is the way it’s gotta be, we need to do this with our guys. We need to. We must. It’s incumbent upon us to do this.

“And that’s what we’ve been doing.”

Ramsey called Staley a “genius” multiple times before and said he would be shocked if he returned to the Rams for 2021. He saw Staley as a great head-coaching candidate, and clearly the Chargers thought the same.

Ramsey was the first player Staley talked with over Zoom last year and that immediate connection helped the two learn a lot about each other. Staley shared some of the things he uncovered in talking to Ramsey, like his dedication to the game and his willingness to take on a more versatile role.

“I learned a lot about him,” Staley said. “I learned that he loves to be coached. I love how intense he is about his game, how aware he is about his game. He’s not a defensive guy, he’s just a ball guy. I learned in that meeting that he wanted to play, and move around, and I felt he could—I studied his game a little bit from Florida State, and saw him do it, playing star, money, corner. I knew he could do everything. And that’s how I saw him, as a matchup guy that we could utilize to our advantage.

“But I learned in that conversation that he wanted to do that. Like, he wants to do that and showcase himself that way. It was an awesome conversation. I think more than anything it showed, Hey, my coach has really been looking at my game, and he’s got a plan for me.”

Ramsey will now be a cornerstone of Raheem Morris’ defense after the former Falcons coach was hired by McVay this offseason. The Rams figure to keep relatively the same structure from Staley’s system, with Morris adding his own wrinkles to the scheme.

With Ramsey and Donald in the mix, Morris is set up for success, just as Staley was. It’s just a matter of finding the pieces to fill the holes left by a handful of free agents, which could be difficult.