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New York Jets Head Coach Candidate Profile: Brandon Staley (ft. Jake Ellenbogen)

Brandon Staley
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New York Jets head coaching target Brandon Staley has the potential to become a defensive version of Sean McVay.

One of the more surprising names to come up in the Jets’ head coaching search so far has been that of Brandon Staley, the 38-year-old defensive coordinator of the Los Angeles Rams.

Few in Jets circles discussed Staley as a prime head coaching candidate entering the 2021 offseason, but now, the young up-and-comer is one of the hottest names in the business.

In the regular season, Staley led the Rams defense to No. 1 in fewest points and yards allowed per drive, while they finished No. 4 in defensive DVOA. In the Wild Card round, Staley’s Rams defense held Russell Wilson and the Seahawks to a season-low 278 yards, powering a 30-20 victory.

One of Staley’s most notable works in 2020 was his development of outside linebacker Leonard Floyd. A player that Staley is familiar with from the two years they shared in Chicago, Staley led Floyd to a breakout season, as the former first-round-pick disappointment set career-highs in sacks (10.5), tackles for loss (11), quarterback hits (19), and pressures (45).

Staley worked as an outside linebackers coach in Vic Fangio’s Bears defense from 2017-18, a stretch that included a thoroughly dominant defensive season in 2018. After Fangio was hired to become the Broncos’ head coach in 2019, Staley followed him over and maintained his role as the outside linebackers coach in Denver. In 2020, after the Rams elected not to renew the contract of veteran defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, they surprised many with their selection of Staley to take his place – a man barely more than half Phillips’ age.

After just one year in a coordinator role, is Staley ready to become a head coach? What type of staff would he build? Does he have the leadership ability to spearhead an entire franchise?

To learn more about the mysterious Staley, Ben Blessington and Michael Nania spoke to Jake Ellenbogen of the Downtown Rams podcast, who went into incredible detail on Staley’s background and his strengths as a coach.

***Warning: NSFW language used in limited spots. 

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