Staley Defends Fourth-Down Play Calls

Los Angeles Chargers head coach Brandon Staley
Los Angeles Chargers head coach Brandon Staley
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

NFL Week 16 -  


"The real football people understand that what I'm doing is playing to the strengths of our football team, and what I'm doing is I'm trying to make the decisions that I think are gonna win us the game. That are gonna WIN us the game. I'm ready to live with all the smoke that comes with it. I've been very transparent about that. What makes football and competition so great is that there aren't going to be perfect decisions, but you need to be able to live with the decisions. Your team needs to know why you're making these decisions so that they can live with them too. I know the way my mindset is, I know the way that our mindset is around here. I also understand the criticism too. I fully understand that as well. But I think that we're building something really special here. I'm proud of the way we competed last night."

"Hopefully our fans, the die-hard powder blues, as they're getting to know me more and more hopefully, and they're getting to know our team more and more hopefully, getting to see our quarterback more and more hopefully, I think they'll fall in love with who we are. I know they will. I know the city of Los Angeles will."

—Los Angeles Chargers head coach Brandon Staley gives an impassioned defense of his fourth-down decision-making in a 34-28 overtime loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chargers went 2-for-5 on fourth down, missing conversions on the Chiefs 28-yard-line, 5-yard-line, and 1-yard-line. (Los Angeles Chargers via Twitter)


"Honestly at the time I had to pee really bad. I'm not gonna say I want them to make the field goal, I want our defense to get a good stop, but I was ready to kinda go in at halftime, use the bathroom, and come back out. If he missed it, I would just go back to my net, get locked in, hit the field goal, then go to the bathroom."

—Cincinnati Bengals kicker Evan McPherson wasn't expecting to kick any field goals with nine seconds before halftime in last week's game against the Denver Broncos. After Broncos kicker Brandon McManus missed a 51-yard field goal attempt of his own, all Cincinnati needed was five seconds, a 19-yard completion, and a timeout to put McPherson in field goal range. His 58-yarder broke the franchise record for longest field goal made. ( Jay Morrison, The Athletic via Twitter)


"After that interception, I told the guys 'Please, I promise we'll win it, just get the ball back.'"

—Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr speaking to his defense after throwing an interception to Greedy Williams with 2:59 to play in Monday night's game against the Cleveland Browns. The Raiders defense stuffed Nick Chubb on third-and-3 to force a three-and-out, then Carr led a 51-yard drive downfield that culminated in the game-winning field goal. (Associated Press)


"Some of these calls are starting to get a little crazy. These refs seem like they're controlling the game a little too much. So, when a play is clean, and they're throwing a flag for something that they thought they could change a game just by one flag ... let guys play ball. If this was a couple years ago, half of this stuff wouldn't even be called. But now, they got so many of these stupid rules, they dang near in a ref's hands [and] could change the game in any given moment."

"I think they need to go check the refs they hire and not our coach."

—Chicago Bears outside linebacker Robert Quinn had some choice words for the referees after Monday's 17-9 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. The Bears finished the game with nine penalties for 91 yards, including three unnecessary roughness fouls and an unsportsmanlike conduct call. (ESPN)


"You have to have two quarterbacks that can win for you. Tyler is playing that kind of football. He played really well. I thought today, he took another step forward, just in terms of handling himself, operating on time in rhythm, taking off and running at the right time, accurate throws, all of those things. He took a big step. There's a lot to be said for experience. Repetition really makes a big difference, and he's a quick learner."

—Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh sang high praise for backup quarterback Tyler Huntley after the team's 31-30 loss to the Green Bay Packers. (


"When I say I piss teal, I mean it. One last ride baby! Let's do it! Chants forever."

—An excerpt from Coastal Carolina Chanticleers quarterback Grayson McCall's announcement stating he will return to the school to play football next year. (Grayson McCall via Twitter)


"The history has changed since that statement. Lot of things went on last year that I was very proud of him. I made a decision that this was best for our football team."

—Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians revisits comments he made last year after bringing back wide receiver Antonio Brown to play. Arians had told reporters last year, "He screws up one time and he's gone." Brown is now returning from a three-game suspension after falsifying a COVID vaccination card. (Jenna Laine, ESPN via Twitter)


"I think for us to go where we want to go, there are going to be games where Carson will be the quote-unquote star of the game. I think that'll have to happen."

—Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich on the notion that quarterback Carson Wentz will have to step up in some games down the road. In the Colts' 27-17 win over the New England Patriots, Wents went 5-for-12 for 57 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. (FOX 59)


"We're a lion pack now. There is no more lone lion. It's the pride now. Everybody has got to get a piece of the gazelle."

—Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons may have spawned a new nickname while talking about getting after quarterbacks with the likes of DeMarcus Lawrence, Randy Gregory, and Neville Gallimore. (Joe Machota, The Athletic via Twitter)


"We're doing a great job with our COVID protocols. Fortunately, there's not a lot to do in Cincinnati, so nobody's going out to clubs and bars and getting COVID every weekend."

—Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow throws an errant jab at Cincinnati nightlife while discussing the team's success in following COVID protocols. (Ben Baby, ESPN via Twitter)

"Joe Burrow said there's not much to do in Cincinnati, I beg to differ, there's a Starbucks downtown, a McDonald's in Covington, and a O'Charley's in Tri-County which in fact has the best complementary bread known to man…"

—Longtime Bengals receiver Chad Johnson offered a rebuttal to Burrow's claim. (Chad Johnson via Twitter)


"I just apologize to Jacksonville. I love Jacksonville. It's one of the reasons I took the job. I still think Shad's a great owner. It's heart-breaking. I just had a dream of it becoming a destination place with a new facility he agreed to build and some day to walk into that stadium where it's standing room only. Because I know how bad the people of Jacksonville want it. So, I'm just heartbroken that we weren't able to do that. I still believe it's going to be done. It's too good of a place."

—Former Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer apologizes to the city of Jacksonville in his first interview since being fired. (



—Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams keeps screenshots of all his double coverages against the Minnesota Vikings


—I'm begging Indianapolis Colts running back Nyheim Hines to wear these Grinch cleats in a real game.


4 comments, Last at 25 Dec 2021, 11:48pm

1 The die hard powder blues?

The die hard powder blues, they sure are hard to find when watching a game on TV.

Why do you go for fourth down so much Coach Staley and lose the game?  One it is the proper thing to do, it increases our GWC and two, we are not as good a team as the Chiefs, so the odds were in favor of us losing, just check out our DVOA as compared with the Chiefs.

OK, no one but those on this site understand that answer.

I love Staley and his approach, I am concerned that he is hallucinating about having die hard fans in LA.

3 It's hard to find die-hard…

It's hard to find die-hard NFL fans for any team in LA, hence the wanderings of the Rams and Raiders as well. Besides, there are more Packer, Raider, and Cowboy fans outside of their respective cities.

I only point this out because I count the powder-blues as my backup team to root for. Definitely over the Cards.

4 Given that KC isn't as…

Given that KC isn't as frightening on offense this year, I think he overdid it.  At the very least, I don't understand going for it on 4th just before halftime since forcing the other team to deal with lousy field position is a major part of the calculous for *why* going for it is advantageous.  Absent that benefit, taking the points becomes much more attractive.

2 Bruce Arians: "Lying,…

Bruce Arians: "Lying, cheating, and bad behaviour have no place on the Bucs. Unless it gives us a competitive advantage."