After being on Rams head coach Sean McVay's staff in 2020, Chargers head coach Brandon Staley for the first time in his current position will be coaching against his former his former boss when the Chargers take on the Rams on Sunday at SoFi Stadium.
"I certainly wouldn't be here without him," Staley told Los Angeles reporters Wednesday. "There's a lifelong friend there. At the same time, we're great competitors, even though we're good friends. This game is going to be about competition. I'm excited to take the field on Sunday."
As the Rams' defensive coordinator, Staley helped the unit finish the 2020 regular season allowing the fewest yards per game in the NFL (281.9), fewest passing yards per game (190.7), fewest points per game (18.6) and third-fewest rushing yards per game (91.3). It also recorded the second-most sacks (53) behind the Steelers' 56. Along the way, the Rams finished 10-6 and reached the Divisional Round of the playoffs.
Staley credited that success to him and McVay viewing the game through a similar lens.
"I think the way that we see the game, you kind of met someone that really, I think, the stars aligned that way, philosophically, how you see the game in terms of offense, defense and kicking game," Staley said. "How you lead, how you teach, personnel, all of that good stuff. It was an incredible year for the both of us. I know that we accomplished a lot together."
Staley also praised McVay for the way he has handled an up-and-down season.
"The thing about Sean — and this year is a good example of it — he can shape-shift based on the players that he has," Staley said. "I think that's what you he has done such a good job have throughout this whole time. Relative to what type of group he has, he has been able to change for it. The way that he has been able to navigate the season with all of the injuries, it's just a testament to how good of a coach he is. you just know, going into a matchup, that he's going to have a plan ready for you. Week-to-week, he's going to pour his heart and soul into that plan to give his guys a great chance to win."