Chargers players speak up for Staley after playoff loss

COSTA MESA, Calif. (AP) — Justin Herbert, Joey Bosa, and the rest of the Los Angeles Chargers were still stung on Sunday after being disappointed to see the season end in less than 24 hours in Jacksonville. rice field.

But after they suffered It was the third-biggest collapse in postseason history, with a 31-30 loss to the Jaguars on Saturday night.the player reiterated his support for confused coach Brandon Staley.

“Everyone would be lucky to have a coach like Staley. He’s an incredible leader and is well respected by everyone on our team,” said Herbert. It’s real, it’s him, he’s been the same person for the past two years.”

Staley is 19-16 in two seasons, including the playoffs. He led the Chargers to their first playoff appearance since 2018, but his decision, which helped his team blow off his 27-0 lead, prompted intense scrutiny.

Botha will be the fourth head coach to play in eight seasons if owner Dean Spanos decides to move from Staley or general manager Tom Telesco. have made the playoffs three times and have no division titles.

Botha, the Chargers’ standout pass rusher, is used to the change, but he supports Staley and said he was happy with the staffing.

“I really trust these coaches. It’s not something that can be done overnight.”

Last season, Los Angeles dropped three of its last four games, including 35-32 in overtime at the finale in Las Vegas. called late timeout.

This season, the Chargers were 6-6 before winning four in a row to reach the playoffs. But Staley’s decision to give the starter significant playing time in last week’s pointless regular-season finale in Denver came after receiver Mike Williams suffered a season-ending back injury late in the first half of a 31-28 loss. It backfired when I lost the .

Then, many of the Chargers’ shortcomings resurfaced in Saturday’s second-half collapse against the Jaguars.

The coaching staff struggled to match Jacksonville’s halftime adjustments, and the run defense fumbled at the worst possible time.

Los Angeles went 103-52 in the third quarter of the season, including the playoffs. Travis Etienne’s 25-yard run late in the fourth quarter and Riley Patterson’s 36-yard field goal scored the win in the Jaguars’ 38–10 win on September 25. It was similar to James Robinson’s 50-yard touchdown.

Bosa said he was disappointed that some of his teammates waved goodbye to the fans when they were 27-0 in the first half.

After Christian Kirk caught a 9-yard TD pass, Botha expressed his frustration to him when he slammed his helmet into the turf during the fourth quarter and served an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. . This put the Jaguar on his two-point conversion to put him within 30-28 and poised to win in regulation.

“When things go too smoothly and you make one bad play, you’re like, ‘Oh my gosh, what’s going on? It’s happened a million times, so I think it’s kind of ingrained in my head.'” Bosa said.

If Staley returns, it will be because he led the team to the playoffs despite injuries to key starters. Offensively, his tackle Lashaun Slater (biceps) played in just three of his games, Botha had a groin injury that saw him miss 12 games, and receiver Keenan his Allen had a hamstring nagging. Due to injury, he played only two of his first nine games.

“What we’ve built here and what we’ve continued to build every day feels like something special. The first half definitely showed that,” said safety’s Darwin James. .


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